When the Trees Grow Bare on the High Hills

When the trees grow bare on the high hills,
And through still glistening days
The wrinkled sun-memoried leaves fall down
From black tall branches
Through the gleaming air,
And wonder is lost,
Dissolving in space,
My heart grows light like the bare branches,
And thoughts which through long months
Have lain like lead upon my breast,
Heavy, slow-ripening thoughts,
Grow light and sere,
And fall at last, so empty and so beautiful.

And I become
Mere memory, mere fume
Of my own strife, my loud wave-crested clamour,
An echo caught
From the mid-sea
On a still mountain-side.
The leaves fall faster,
Like a slow unreturning fountain of red gold.
The billow of summer breaks at last
In far-heard whispering.
And in mere memory, mere dream,
Attainment breathes itself out,
Perfect and cold.
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