THERE is a time, just when the frost 

  Begins to pave old Winter's way, 

When Autumn in a reverie lost, 

The mellow daytime dreams away;

When Summer comes, in musing mind, 

To gaze once more on hill and dell,

To mark how many sheaves they bind, 

And see if all are ripened well.

With balmy breath she whispers low;

The dying flowers look up and give 

Their sweetest incense ere they go,

For her who made their beauties live.

She enters 'neath the woodland shade, 

Her zephyrs lift the lingering leaf,

And bear it gently where are laid 

The loved and lost ones of its grief.

At last, old Autumn, rising, takes 

Again his scepter and his throne;

With boisterous hand the tree he shakes, 

Intent on gathering all his own.

Sweet Summer, sighing, flies the plain, 

And waiting Winter, gaunt and grim,

Sees miser Autumn hoard his grain, 

And smiles to think it's all for him.