The End of Autumn

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The End of Autumn
by Vasile Alecsandri, translated by William Beatty-Kingston

See, the storks and eke the swallows, of our roofs and eaves the guests,
Fearful of the days that threaten now have vanished from their nests;
And the cranes with flapping pinions ranked in orderly array,
Unheeding vain regrets are flying to the southward far away.

Now the fields are brown and barren that were erst so gaily green,
And the forests, wreath'd in vapour, bear a rusty look, I ween,
While along the woodland bye-paths tawny wind-tossed leaflets roll
Like the mournful cast-off fancies of a sorrow - stricken soul.

Looming up from ev'ry quarter, black ice - laden clouds arise,
Like the dragons of the legend tearing through the gloomy skies.
Hidden is the kindly sunlight ; and, with wheeling flight on high,
Sails a flock of carrion-corbies, hoarsely croaking as they fly.

Short the days; grim Winter nears us, riding on the Northern blast;
In the chimney howls the storm-cry, while the children sit aghast;
Oxen bellow, horses whinny; dogs of barking never tire,
And the weary peasants, shiv'ring, huddle closely round the tire.

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