The year grows still again, the surging wake1
Of full-sailed Summer folds its furrows up,2
As when some ship has foamed along the deep3
Old silence settles back again to sleep,4
And ocean grows as placid as a cup.5
Spring the young morn, and Summer the strong noon6
Have dreamed and done and died for Autumn’s sake,7
Autumn that finds not for a loss so dear8
Solace in stack and garner hers too soon9
Autumn, the faithful widow of the year.10
Autumn, a poet once so full of song,11
Wise in all rhymes of blossom and of bud,12
Hath lost the early magic of his tongue,13
And hath no passion in his failing blood.14
Hear ye no sound of sobbing in the air ?15
’Tis his—low bending in a secret lane,16
Late blooms of second childhood in his hair,17
He tries old magic like a dotard mage ;18
Tries spell and spell, to weep and try again ;19
Yet not a daisy hears, and everywhere20
The hedgerow rattles like an empty cage.21
He hath no pleasure in his silken skies,22
Nor delicate ardours of the yellow land ;23
Yea ! dead for all its gold the woodland lies,24
And all the throats of music filled with sand.25
Neither to him across the stubble field26
May stack or garner any comfort bring,27
Who loveth more this jasmine he hath made,28
The little tender rhyme he yet can sing,29
Than yesterday with all its pompous yield,30
Or all its shaken laurels on his head.31