by Edward Capern
The gloomy days are come again,
Telling their doleful tale,
And singing the dirge of Autumn's months
With melancholy wail.
The trees are bare, and every stream
Is laden with a sigh,
And the year is pouring a flood of tears
Along the murky sky.
They called October sad and drear,
As she passed o'er the fading scene,
Spreading decay in each forest way,
Where the young year's life was green.
But still, October was not so sad
As men would have her be,
For when baring the wood, she covered the sod
'Mid the shouts of revelry.
Mirth danced where the wine-press yet was sweet,
And Sport blew the huntsman's horn,
While linnet-choirs cheerily sang in the bush,
And the lark now and then to the morn.
Now the songs that we hear are the jay's wild screech,
Or the croak of some raven or crow,
Or the rustling of leaves from the blast-beaten beech
To the mire-covered ground below.
Then a song for October, the ruby-faced month,
That showered the acorns down ;
The beauty that came with the blush on her cheek,
And a mantle of russet and brown.
O, I loved her! and sought her in serpentine paths,
O'er many a rock-paven way,
When her glories were falling like withering hopes,
To give room for the buddings of May.
And, wending my way where the feather-clad fern
Bent down with its yellow plumes low,
I tracked her where hawthorn and roseberries burn
To vie with the holly's rich glow.
Through the wood and the wild, as I scrambled along,
Full many a song bird would stir,
And wake into life a new thought for a song
With the sound of their fluttering whirr.
But, O, I shall never forget the bright smoke
That curled from the cot in the dale,
As it stole 'mid the back-ground of chestnut and oak,
Like a stream of rich blue through the vale.
At length I arrived at a torrent-washed glen,
And, leaping the leaf-mottled flood,
I soon found her out by the acorn-boy's shout
That rang through the echoing wood.
O yes, she was there, a fair goddess arrayed
With a chaplet of beautiful hues,
Like a wreath of rich rainbows encircling her head,
And a tiara mounted with dews.
Yes, there, 'mid the bright and the blue marbled skies,
From her hand she threw out on the breeze
All her richly-gilt leaves, more than gold in my eyes,
Which looked like rich bloom on the trees.
But, alas for October, her beauty is flown,
And nought but her skeleton 's seen;
Still we know, though it fled on the wings of the storm,
'Twill be here when next summer hath been.
So know, mortals, know, when the loved ones of life
Shall wither like Autumn away,
Ye have only in Nature to turn o'er a page
To learn how life springs from decay.