Evening Poetry, September 24

Autumn

By Alice Cary

Shorter and shorter now the twilight clips 
   The days, as though the sunset gates they crowd, 
And Summer from her golden collar slips 
   And strays through stubble-fields, and moans aloud, 

Save when by fits the warmer air deceives, 
   And, stealing hopeful to some sheltered bower, 
She lies on pillows of the yellow leaves, 
   And tries the old tunes over for an hour. 

The wind, whose tender whisper in the May 
   Set all the young blooms listening through th’ grove, 
Sits rustling in the faded boughs to-day 
   And makes his cold and unsuccessful love. 

The rose has taken off her tire of red— 
   The mullein-stalk its yellow stars have lost, 
And the proud meadow-pink hangs down her head 
   Against earth’s chilly bosom, witched with frost. 

The robin, that was busy all the June, 
   Before the sun had kissed the topmost bough, 
Catching our hearts up in his golden tune, 
   Has given place to the brown cricket now. 

The very cock crows lonesomely at morn— 
   Each flag and fern the shrinking stream divides— 
Uneasy cattle low, and lambs forlorn 
   Creep to their strawy sheds with nettled sides. 

Shut up the door: who loves me must not look 
   Upon the withered world, but haste to bring 
His lighted candle, and his story-book, 
   And live with me the poetry of Spring.

You can find this poem in American Poetry: The Nineteenth Century.

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