06 November 2013

Autumn - An 1855 Poem

By Longfellow.
O, with what glory comes and goes this year!
The buds of Spring — those beautiful harbingers
Of sunny skies and cloudless times — enjoy
Life's newness, and earth's garmiture spread out!
And when the silver habit of the clouds
Comes down upon the Autumn sun,
And with a sober gladness the old year
Takes up his bright inheritance of golden fruit,
A pomp and pageant fill the splendid scene.
There is a beautiful spirit breathing now
Its mellow richness on the clustered trees,
And from a beaker full of richest dyes,
Pouring new glory on the autumn woods,
And dipping in warm light the pillar'd clouds.
Morn, on the mountain, like a summer bird,
Lifts up her purple wing; and in the vales
The gentle wind — a sweet and passionate wooer,
Kisses the blushing leaf and stirs up life
Within the autumn woods of ash deep crimsoned,
And silver-beech, and maple yellow-leaved,
Where Autumn, like a faint old man, sits down
By the way-side a-weary. Through the trees
The golden robin moves; the purple finch,
That on wild cherry and red cedar feeds —
A winter bird comes with its plaintive whistle,
And peeks by the witch hazel; whilst aloud
From cottage roofs the warbling blue bird sings;
And merrily, with oft-repeated stroke
Sounds from the threshing floor the busy flail.
O, what a glory doth this world put on
For him who, with fervent heart, goes forth
Under the bright and glorious sky, and looks
On duties well performed and days well spent!
For him the wind, ay, and the yellow leaves,
Shall have a voice and give him eloquent teachings.
He shall so hear the solemn hymn that Death
Has lifted up for all, that he shall go
To his last resting place without a tear!
November 3, 1855. Washington D.C. Evening Star 6(885): 4.