October

By Madison Cawein

Long hosts of sunlight, and the bright wind blows
A tourney-trumpet on the listed hill;
Past is the splendour of the royal rose
And duchess daffodil.

Crowned queen of beauty, in the garden’s space,
Strong daughter of a bitter race and bold,
A ragged beggar with a lovely face,
Reigns the sad marigold.

And I have sought June’s butterfly for days,
To find it—like a coreopsis bloom—
Amber and seal, rain-murdered ‘neath the blaze
Of this sunflower’s plume.

Here drones the bee; and there sky-daring wings
Voyage blue gulfs of heaven; the last song
The red-bird flings me as adieu, still rings
Upon yon pear-tree’s prong.

No angry sunset brims with rubier red
The bowl of heaven than the days, indeed,
Pour in each blossom of this salvia-bed,
Where each leaf seems to bleed.

And where the wood-gnats dance, like some slight mist,
Above the efforts of the weedy stream,
The girl, October, tired of the tryst,
Dreams a diviner dream.

One foot just dipping the caressing wave,
One knee at languid angle; locks that drown
Hands nut-stained; hazel-eyed, she lies, and grave,
Watching the leaves drift down.

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