CAN this be sadness ? this forebode decay ?
Are these the vestments of funereal woe ?
Sure, hues that pale like these the dawning’s glow
The rather deck some dryad’s festal day !
Hail, radiant hour ! thrice welcome, gladsome ray,
That kindling through these boughs, with golden flow,
Streams joy and summer to the shades below!
And thou, brown-dappled Oak, and Maple gay,
In rippling waves of many-tinted flame,
• Lithe Birch gold-hued, thin Ash, whose dyes might shame
The trodden vintage reeking on the lees,
And ivied Beech with sanguine cinctures fair: —
As in the long days past, fraternal trees,
With you, whate’er your gladness, let me share !


O’er banks of mossy mould how lightly strewn
All the wan summer lies ! The heedless tread
Awakes no sound ; and, had not pale leaves fled,
As soft it came, the low wind were not known.
How strange the sharp and long-drawn shadows thrown
From lank and shrivelled branches overhead,
While from their withered glories, spoiler-shed,
The earthy autumn-scents are faintly blown !
Ah ! reft and ravaged bowers, the garish day
Flaunts through the hidings of your dewy glooms !
And thou, in leafy twilights wont to be,
Shy maid, sweet-thoughted Sadness, come away,
And here beneath this hemlock’s drooping plumes
With pensive retrospection muse with me.


Why holds o’er all my heart this dreamy hour
A sway that spring or summer never knew ?
Why seems this ragged gentian, wanly blue,
Of all the circling year the fairest flower ?
Whence has each wandering leaf this mystic power
That all my secret being trembles through,—
Or sounds the blackbird’s note more human-true
Than all the songs of June from greenwood bower?
Deep meanings haunt the groves and sunny glades,
Strange dearness broods along the hazy slopes,
A vague but tender awe my breast pervades,
That hints of shadowy doubt, yet is not fear ;
While musing quiet stirs with drowsy hopes,
And Nature’s loving heart seems doubly near.