NOW golden days of autumn are no more.
Down on the forest ruthless Winter frees—
First with far rumblings, waxing to a roar—
His shouting winds that riot thro’ the trees,
Raging like savage seas.
Bedraggled now the gown this garden wore;
Lost are those evanescent gems she bore;
Lost, half the melodies.
A grey thrush, every morn hops round the door,
His wise head cocked inquiringly aslant;
Magpie and robin, these are shy no more,
And every songster, as his fare grows scant,
Becomes a mendicant.
Small their demands upon the larder’s store
On these dark, sodden days or mornings hoar,
Cruel to bird and plant.
A strange and ghostly silence came last night,
After the wind’s wild clamour and the rain;
And now, at dawn, a coverlet of white
Swathes many a long, fantastic forest lane
And unfamiliar plain.
Beneath the burden spar and sapling slight
Bow down, revealing many a vista bright
In this once green domain.
The silence shouts in this new, muffled world
After the tempest’s nerve-destroying din . . .
Here, like three pixies, impudently curled
In a giant’s pallet, sheets up to each chin,
Three pert violas grin . . .
The forest is a lady richly pearled,
Else a white penitent in pure robes furled,
And newly cleansed of sin.