PITY now the slender traveler,
The hummingbird on trackless air,
Going south, an inch of Summer
Over the miles of earth blown bare.
Pity, too, the silken swallows
Threading high the thunderful gales
With nothing to guide them but quicksilver
Intelligence in wings and tails.
Pity the amber civilizations
In the benumbed and silent hive
With only the glassy pinions working
To keep the jeweled hearts alive.
Think with compassion on the furry
Where they dig their homesteads deep
And feed on the Summer of their bodies
Through the long Winter of their sleep.
Pity us all who shrink and perish
Thought by thought, red Fall by Fall,
Whose youth goes on the high autumnal
Journey and comes not back at all.