A Still Day in Autumn

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A Still Day in Autumn
by Sarah Helen Whitman

I love to wander through the woodlands hoary
  In the soft light of an autumnal day,
When Summer gathers up her robes of glory,
  And like a dream of beauty glides away.

How through each loved, familiar path she lingers,
  Serenely smiling through the golden mist,
Tinting the wild grape with her dewy fingers
  Till the cool emerald turns to amethyst:

Kindling the faint stars of the hazel, shining
  To light the gloom of Autumn's mouldering halls
With hoary plumes the clematis entwining
  Where o'er the rock her withered garland falls.

Warm lights are on the sleepy uplands waning
  Beneath soft clouds along the horizon rolled,
Till the slant sunbeams through their fringes raining
  Bathe all the hills in melancholy gold.

The moist winds breathe of crispéd leaves and flowers
  In the damp hollows of the woodland sown,
Mingling the freshness of autumnal showers
  With spicy airs from cedarn alleys blown.

Beside the brook and on the umbered meadow,
  Where yellow fern-tufts fleck the faded ground,
With folded lids beneath their palmy shadow
  The gentian nods, in dewy slumbers bound.

Upon those soft, fringed lids the bee sits brooding,
  Like a fond lover loath to say farewell,
Or with shut wings, through silken folds intruding,
  Creeps near her heart his drowsy tale to tell.

The little birds upon the hillside lonely
  Flit noiselessly along from spray to spray,
Silent as a sweet wandering thought that only
  Shows its bright wings and softly glides away.

This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.