To a Fallen Elm

Old Elm that murmured in our chimney top
The sweetest anthem autumn ever made
And into mellow whispering calms would drop
When showers fell on thy many coloured shade
And when dark tempests mimic thunder made
While darkness came as it would strangle light
With the black tempest of a winter night
That rocked thee like a cradle to thy root
How did I love to hear the winds upbraid
Thy strength without while all within was mute
It seasoned comfort to our hearts desire
We felt thy kind protection like a friend


To a Friend

Go, then, and join the murmuring city's throng!
Me thou dost leave to solitude and tears;
To busy phantasies, and boding fears,
Lest ill betide thee; but 't will not be long
Ere the hard season shall be past; till then
Live happy; sometimes the forsaken shade
Remembering, and these trees now left to fade;
Nor, mid the busy scenes and hum of men,
Wilt thou my cares forget: in heaviness
To me the hours shall roll, weary and slow,
Till mournful autumn past, and all the snow


To a Cabbage Rose

Thy clustering leaves are steeped in splendour;
   No evening red, no morning dun,
Can show a hue as rich and tender
   As thine -- bright lover of the sun!

What wondrous hints of hidden glory,
   Of strains no human lips can sing;
What symbols rare of life's strange story,
   Dost thou from earth's dark bosom bring!

What elements have made thy sweetness,
   Thy glowing hue, thy emerald stem?
What hand has fashioned to completeness
   From tiny germ, thy diadem?


Third Sunday After Easter

Well may I guess and feel
Why Autumn should be sad;
But vernal airs should sorrow heal,
Spring should be gay and glad:
Yet as along this violet bank I rove,
The languid sweetness seems to choke my breath,
I sit me down beside the hazel grove,
And sigh, and half could wish my weariness were death.

Like a bright veering cloud
Grey blossoms twinkle there,
Warbles around a busy crowd
Of larks in purest air.


Thinking Of A Friend At Night

In this evil year, autumn comes early...
I walk by night in the field, alone, the rain clatters,
The wind on my hat...And you? And you, my friend?

You are standing--maybe--and seeing the sickle moon
Move in a small arc over the forests
And bivouac fire, red in the black valley.
You are lying--maybe--in a straw field and sleeping
And dew falls cold on your forehead and battle jacket.

It's possible tonight you're on horseback,
The farthest outpost, peering along, with a gun in your fist,


Tho' my destiny be Fustian

163

Tho' my destiny be Fustian—
Hers be damask fine—
Tho' she wear a silver apron—
I, a less divine—

Still, my little Gypsy being
I would far prefer,
Still, my little sunburnt bosom
To her Rosier,

For, when Frosts, their punctual fingers
On her forehead lay,
You and I, and Dr. Holland,
Bloom Eternally!

Roses of a steadfast summer
In a steadfast land,
Where no Autumn lifts her pencil—
And no Reapers stand!


Thora's Song 'Ashtaroth'

We severed in Autumn early,
Ere the earth was torn by the plough;
The wheat and the oats and the barley
Are ripe for the harvest now.
We sunder'd one misty morning
Ere the hills were dimm'd by the rain;
Through the flowers those hills adorning --
Thou comest not back again.

My heart is heavy and weary
With the weight of a weary soul;
The mid-day glare grows dreary,
And dreary the midnight scroll.
The corn-stalks sigh for the sickle,
'Neath the load of their golden grain;


Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

I

Among twenty snowy mountains,
The only moving thing
Was the eye of the black bird.

II

I was of three minds,
Like a tree
In which there are three blackbirds.

III

The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.
It was a small part of the pantomime.

IV

A man and a woman
Are one.
A man and a woman and a blackbird
Are one.

V

I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections


Theme in Yellow

I spot the hills
With yellow balls in autumn.
I light the prairie cornfields
Orange and tawny gold clusters
And I am called pumpkins.
On the last of October
When dusk is fallen
Children join hands
And circle round me
Singing ghost songs
And love to the harvest moon;
I am a jack-o'-lantern
With terrible teeth
And the children know
I am fooling.


The Year of the Rose

From the depths of the green garden-closes
Where the summer in darkness dozes
Till autumn pluck from his hand
An hour-glass that holds not a sand;
From the maze that a flower-belt encloses
To the stones and sea-grass on the strand
How red was the reign of the roses
Over the rose-crowned land!

The year of the rose is brief;
From the first blade blown to the sheaf,
From the thin green leaf to the gold,
It has time to be sweet and grow old,
To triumph and leave not a leaf
For witness in winter's sight


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