Sunset In Autumn

By Madison Cawein

Blood-coloured oaks, that stand against a sky of gold and brass;
Gaunt slopes, on which the bleak leaves glow of brier and sassafras,
And broom-sedge strips of smoky-pink and pearl—gray clumps of grass
In which, beneath the ragged sky, the rain pools gleam like glass.

From West to East, from wood to wood, along the forest-side,
The winds,—the sowers of the Lord,—with thunderous footsteps stride;
Their stormy hands rain acorns down; and mad leaves, wildly dyed,
Like tatters of their rushing cloaks, stream round them far and wide.

The frail leaf-cricket in the weeds rings a faint fairy bell;
And like a torch of phantom ray the milkweed’s windy shell
Glimmers; while, wrapped in withered dreams, the wet autumnal smell
Of loam and leaf, like some sad ghost, steals over field and dell.

The oaks, against a copper sky—o’er which, like some black lake
Of Dis, bronze clouds, like surges fringed with sullen fire, break—
Loom sombre as Doom’s citadel above the vales that make
A pathway to a land of mist the moon’s pale feet shall take.

Now, dyed with burning carbuncle, a limbo-litten pane,
Within its walls of storm, the West opens to hill and plain,
On which the wild-geese ink themselves, a far triangled train,
And then the shuttering clouds close down—and night is here again.