That soft autumnal time
Is gone, that sheds upon the naked scene
Charms only known in this our northern clime,
Bright seasons far between.
The woodland foliage now
Is gathered by the wild November blast;
Even the thick leaves upon the oaken bough,
Are fallen, to the last.
The mighty vines that round
The forest trunks their slender branches bind,
Their crimson foliage shaken to the ground,
Swing naked to the wind.
Some living green remains,
By the clear brook that shines along the lawn,
But the sere grass stands white o’er all the plains,
And the bright flowers are gone.
But these, these are thy charms —
Mild airs, and tempered light upon the lea,
And the year holds no time within his arms,
That doth resemble thee.
The sunny noon is thine,
Soft, golden, noiseless as the dead of night,
And hues that in the flushed horizon shine,
At eve and early light.
The year’s last, loveliest smile,
Thou com’st to fill with hope the human heart,
And strengthen it to bear the storms awhile,
Till winter’s frowns depart.
O’er the wide plains that lie
A desolate scene, the fires of autumn spread,
And on the blue walls of the starry sky,
A strange wild glimmer shed.
Far in a sheltered nook,
I’ve met, in these calm days, a smiling flower,
A lonely aster, trembling by a brook,
At noon’s warm quiet hour.
And something told my mind
That should old age to childhood call me back,
Some sunny days and flowers I still might find
Along life’s weary track.