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.


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The Wreck of the Steamer Mohegan

Good people of high and low degree,
I pray ye all to list to me,
And I'll relate a terrible tale of the sea
Concerning the unfortunate steamer, Mohegan,
That against the Manacles Rocks, ran.

'Twas on Friday, the 14th of October, in the year of ninety-eight,
Which alas! must have been a dreadful sight;
She sailed out of the river Thames on Thursday,
While the hearts of the passengers felt light and gay.

And on board there were 133 passengers and crew,
And each one happier than another seemingly to view;


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The Wild Blue-Bells

Came a bouquet from the city,
Fragrant, rich and debonair -
Sweet carnation and geraniium,
Heliotrope and roses rare.

Down beside the crystal river,
Where the moss-grown rocks are high,
And the ferns, from niche and crevice,
Stretch to greet the azure sky;

In the chaste October sunlight,
High above the path below,
Grew a tuft of lovely blue-bells,
Softly wind-swung to and fro.

Reached a dainty hand to grasp them,
Bore them home with loving care,


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The Walshes Came to Burgundy

Some hundred fifty years ago
A young man left his home;
Good-bye to hills of Ireland,
To make it on his own.
At age eighteen, he had no fear
To cross the ocean wide,
Although he made the trip alone,
With no one by his side.

His storm-tossed ship went off its course,
So, Boston was its end.
He went ashore, with Irish luck,
And found himself a friend.
His benefactor sheltered him
And taught him all he knew.
Young Thomas Walsh was learning
All the things good tradesmen do.


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The Trosachs

THERE 's not a nook within this solemn Pass,
   But were an apt confessional for one
   Taught by his summer spent, his autumn gone,
That Life is but a tale of morning grass
Wither'd at eve. From scenes of art which chase
   That thought away, turn, and with watchful eyes
   Feed it 'mid Nature's old felicities,
Rocks, rivers, and smooth lakes more clear than glass
Untouch'd, unbreathed upon. Thrice happy quest,
   If from a golden perch of aspen spray
   (October's workmanship to rival May)


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The Shepheardes Calender October

OCTOBER: Ægloga DecimaPIERCE & CUDDIE
Cuddie, for shame hold up thy heavye head,
And let us cast with what delight to chace,
And weary thys long lingring Phoebus race.
Whilome thou wont the shepheards laddes to leade,
In rymes, in ridles, and in bydding base:
Now they in thee, and thou in sleepe art dead.

CUDDY
Piers, I have pyped erst so long with payne,
That all mine Oten reedes bene rent and wore:
And my poore Muse hath spent her spared store,


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The Robin's my Criterion for Tune

285

The Robin's my Criterion for Tune—
Because I grow—where Robins do—
But, were I Cuckoo born—
I'd swear by him—
The ode familiar—rules the Noon—
The Buttercup's, my Whim for Bloom—
Because, we're Orchard sprung—
But, were I Britain born,
I'd Daisies spurn—
None but the Nut—October fit—
Because, through dropping it,
The Seasons flit—I'm taught—
Without the Snow's Tableau
Winter, were lie—to me—
Because I see—New Englandly—
The Queen, discerns like me—
Provincially—


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The Present

The day comes slowly in the railyard
behind the ice factory. It broods on
one cinder after another until each
glows like lead or the eye of a dog
possessed of no inner fire, the brown
and greasy pointer who raises his muzzle
a moment and sighing lets it thud
down on the loading dock. In no time
the day has crossed two sets of tracks,
a semi-trailer with no tractor, and crawled
down three stories of the bottling plant
at the end of the alley. It is now
less than five hours until mid-day


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The Poet's Calendar

January

Janus am I; oldest of potentates;
Forward I look, and backward, and below
I count, as god of avenues and gates,
The years that through my portals come and go.
I block the roads, and drift the fields with snow;
I chase the wild-fowl from the frozen fen;
My frosts congeal the rivers in their flow,
My fires light up the hearths and hearts of men.

February

I am lustration, and the sea is mine!
I wash the sands and headlands with my tide;


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