Much have I spoken of the faded leaf;
Long have I listened to the wailing wind,
And watched it ploughing through the heavy clouds,
For autumn charms my melancholy mind.
When autumn comes, the poets sing a dirge:
The year must perish; all the flowers are dead;
The sheaves are gathered; and the mottled quail
Runs in the stubble, but the lark has fled!
Still, autumn ushers in the Christmas cheer,
The holly-berries and the ivy-tree:
They weave a chaplet for the Old Year's bier
These waiting mourners do not sing for me!
I find sweet peace in depths of autumn woods.
Where grow the ragged ferns and roughened moss;
The naked, silent trees have taught me this,—
The loss of beauty is not always loss!
Elizabeth Stoddard (1823-1902)
from Poems, 1895
[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]
Elizabeth Stoddard biography