Autumn Story

SHORTER and shorter now the twilight clips

The days as through the sunset gates they crowd,

And Summer from her golden collar slips,

And strays through stubble-fields, and moans aloud;

Save when by fits the warmer air deceives,

And stealing hopeful to some sheltered bower,

She lies on pillows of the yellow leaves

And tries the old tunes over for an hour.

The wind, whose tender whisper in the May

Set all the young blooms listening through the grove,

Sits rustling in the faded boughs today,

And makes his cold and unsuccessful love.

The rose has taken off her tire of red,

The mullein-stalk its yellow stars has lost,

And the proud meadow-pink hangs down her head

Against earth's chilly bosom, withered with the frost.

The robin that was busy all the June

Before the sun had kissed the topmost bough,

Catching our hearts up in his golden tune,

Has given place to the barn-cricket now.

The very cock, crows lonesomely at morn;

Each flag and fern the shrinking stream divides;

Uneasy cattle low, and lambs forlorn

Creep to their strawy sheds with nettled sides.

Shut up the door; who loves me must not look

Upon the withered world, but haste to bring

His lighted candle and his storybook,

And love with me the poetry of spring.




Alice Cary.