The oak tree's dark and tattered cloak
Off on the wild wind flying.
The crimson knots fell one by one
Off from the rose tree's shoulder,
And so untied its robe of green
Ere autumn nights grew colder.
The ripened grain waved me adieu;
The bird stopped, southward going,
Then went his way. I watch alone,
The north wind coldly blowing.
I would that I too with the rest
Had been content to slumber;
The robe of life I coveted
Now clothes me but to cumber.
There would have then been some regrets,
Some whisper softly sighing,
When loit'ring lovers homeward went
Through leaves about me dying.
And this is why to wintry winds
I tell my thrice-told story:
Life, lonely life, when friends have gone,
Is but a doubtful glory.