by Alexander McLachlan
Not in russet, sad and sober,
Com'st thou here, belov'd October,
As in Europe old;
Not with aspect wan and hoary,
But array'd in robes of glory,
Purple, green, and gold.
Over continent and sea,
To hold the full year's jubilee,
Thou again hast come—
Borne on thine own fairy pinion
To our dear belov'd Dominion,
Our green forest home!
O ye, who live in cities vast,
Aside your weary ledgers cast,
Tho' 'twere but for an hour.
Oh, come and see this magic sight—
This revel of all colors bright,
This gold and purple shower !
Oh, come and see the great arcades,
And catch the glory ere it fades.
Come through no sense of duty ;
But see, with open heart and eye,
This glory underneath the sky,
This miracle of beauty!
See how the great old forest vies
With all the glory of the skies,
In streaks without a name ;
And leagues on leagues of scarlet spires
And temples lit with crimson fires,
And palaces of flame !
And domes on domes that gleam afar
Through many a gold and crimson bar,
With azure overhead;
While forts with tow'rs on tow'rs arise,
As if they meant to scale the skies
With banners bloody red.
Here, orange groves that seem asleep ;
There, stately avenues that sweep
To where the land declines ;
There, starting up in proud array—
With helmets flashing to the day—
Troop upon troop of pines.
Here, evergreens that have withdrawn,
And hang around the open lawn,
With shadows creeping back ;
While yonder girdled hemlocks run,
Like fiery serpents to the sun,
Upon their gleaming track.
And in the distance, far apart,
As if to shame man's proudest art,
Cathedral arches spread;
While yonder ancient elm has caught
A glory past the reach of thought
Upon his hoary head.
But ev'ry object, far and wide,
The very air, is glorified—
A perfect dream of bliss.
Earth's greatest painters never could—
Nor poet in inspired mood—
Imagine aught like this.
Oh ! what are all ambition's gains—
What matters it who rules or reigns—
While I have, standing here,
Gleams of unutterable things,
The work of the great King of Kings,
God of the full-crown'd year ?
October! thou'rt a marvelous sight,
And with a rapture of delight
We hail thy gorgeous pinion ;
To elevate our hearts thou'rt here,
To bind us with a tie more dear
To our belov'd Dominion.