‘ In winter, Earth wears a pathetic aspect, because she is
waiting for Spring, and this is better than Autumn, which
looks so hopeless.’
Better calm death than dying life, I thought,1
As on the sodden earth the brown leaves lay,2
Or, fluttering from the boughs, day after day,3
Were still by wandering winds in legions brought,4
And cast on fields and woodland ways, and tossed5
From hedge to plain—and back in wild unrest.6
Now, in this scene, by silence all possessed,7
No leaves appear, for, swept away and lost,8
Those sapless forms and dry no more are here,9
But yielding their sweet lives (once deemed so fair),10
Give nurture to the flowers and roots, and wear11
Themselves to dust, that in the New-born year12
Fresh beauty may arise : thus Nature weaves13
A crown of glory from her own dead leaves.14