THE autumn-time has come ;
On woods that dream of bloom,
And over purpling vines,
The low sun fainter shines.
The aster-flower is failing,
The hazel’s gold is paling;
Yet overhead more near
The eternal stars appear !
And present gratitude
Insures the future’s good,
And for the things I see
I trust the things to be;
That in the paths untrod,
And the long days of God,
My feet shall still be led,
My heart be comforted.
O living friends who love me!
O dear ones gone above me !
Careless of other fame,
I leave to you my name.
Hide it from idle praises,
Save it from evil phrases;
Why, when dear lips that spake it
Are dumb, should strangers wake it ?
Let the thick curtain fall;
I better know than all
How little I have gained,
How vast the unattained.
Not by the page word-painted
Let life be banned or sainted:
Deeper than written scroll
The colors of the soul.
Sweeter than any sung
My songs that found no tongue;
Nobler than any fact
My wish that failed of act.
Others shall sing the song,
Others shall right the wrong,—-
Finish what I begin,
And all I fail of win.
What matter, I or they ?
Mine or another’s day,
So the right word be said
And life the sweeter made ?
Hail to the coming singers !
Hail to the brave light-bringers!
Forward I reach and share
All that they sing and dare.
The airs of heaven blow o’er me;
A glory shines before me
Of what mankind shall be, —
Pure, generous, brave, and free.
A dream of man and woman
Diviner but still human,
Solving the riddle old,
Shaping the Age of Gold !
The love of God and neighbor;
An equal-handed labor;
The richer life, where beauty
Walks hand in hand with duty.
Ring, bells in unreared steeples,
The joy of unborn peoples !
Sound, trumpets far off blown,
Your triumph is my own !
Parcel and part of all,
I keep the festival,
Fore-reach the good to be,
And share the victory.
I feel the earth move sunward,
I join the great march onward,
And take, by faith, while living,
My freehold of thanksgiving