Sunday, October 7, 2012

At the Year's Turn / Francis Sherman


At the Year's Turn

This year, the perfume of her hair
Has fallen about me many times —
Dimly; as when you waken where
One long ago made subtle rhymes
Your vain hands clasp the empty air.

When April first came in, and Spring
Called loud from valley unto hill,
Awhile I laughed at each new thing —
Strong as the risen waters: still,
I dreamed upon her wandering.

And when the warm, warm days were come,
And roses bloomed in any lane,
My heart, that should have sung, was dumb
As waiting birds before the rain:
The heavy air was burthensome.

Today, I paused, at the year’s turn,
Between the sunset and the wood
Where many broad-leaved maples burn;
Until I saw her, where I stood,
Across the tawny seas of fern

(Red rowan-berries in her hair) —
October — come to me again:
And as I waited for her there,
Softly the Hunter’s Moon made plain
Her curvèd bosom, white and bare.

~~
Francis Sherman
from An Acadian Easter and other poems, 1900

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada, the United States, and the European Union]

Francis Sherman biography

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