Saturday, September 19, 2015

The End of Summer / Madison Cawein

The End of Summer

The rose, that wrote its message on the noon's
Bright manuscript, has turned her perfumed face
Towards Fall, and waits, heart-heavy, for the moon's
     Pale flower to take her place.

With eyes distraught, and dark disheveled hair,
The Season dons a tattered cloak of storm
And waits with Night that, darkly, seems to share
     Her trouble and alarm.

It is the close of summer. In the sky
The sunset lit a fire of drift and sat
Watching the last Day, robed in empire, die
     Upon the burning ghat.

The first leaf crimsons and the last rose falls,
And Night goes stalking on, her cloak of rain
Dripping, and followed through her haunted halls
     By ail Death's phantom train.

The sorrow of the Earth and all that dies,
And all that suffers, in her breast she bears;
Outside the House of Life she stops and cries
     The burden of her cares.

Then on the window knocks with crooked hands,
Her tree-like arms to Heaven wildly-hurled:
Love hears her crying, "Who then understands?—
     Has God forgot the world?"

Madison Cawein (1865-1914)
from The Cup of Comus: Fact and fancy, 1915

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

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