September

By John Charles McNeill

I have not been among the woods,
Nor seen the milk-weeds burst their hoods,

The downy thistle-seeds take wing,
Nor the squirrel at his garnering.

And yet I know that, up to God,
The mute month holds her goldenrod,

That clump and copse, o’errun with vines,
Twinkle with clustered muscadines,

And in deserted churchyard places
Dwarf apples smile with sunburnt faces.

I know how, ere her green is shed,
The dogwood pranks herself with red;

How the pale dawn, chilled through and through,
Comes drenched and draggled with her dew;

How all day long the sunlight seems
As if it lit a land of dreams,

Till evening, with her mist and cloud,
Begins to weave her royal shroud.

If yet, as in old Homer’s land,
God walks with mortals, hand in hand,

Somewhere to-day, in this sweet weather,
Thinkest thou not they walk together?

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