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His scourge of fury is lashing down
The delicate-rankèd golden corn,
That never more shall rear its crown
And curtsey to the morn.

There shews no care in heaven to save
Man's pitiful patience, or provide
A season for the season's slave,

Whose trust hath toiled and died.

So my proud spirit in me is sad,
A wreck of fairer fields to mourn,
The ruin of golden hopes she had,
My delicate-rankèd corn.

2 I

THE birds that sing on autumn eves
Among the golden-tinted leaves,
Are but the few that true remain
Of budding May's rejoicing train.

Like autumn flowers that brave the frost,
And make their show when hope is lost,
These 'mong the fruits and mellow scent
Mourn not the high-sunned summer spent.
Their notes thro' all the jocund spring
Were mixed in merry musicking:
They sang for love the whole day long,
But now their love is all for song.
Now each hath perfected his lay
To praise the year that hastes away:
They sit on boughs apart, and vie
In single songs and rich reply:

And oft as in the copse I hear

These anthems of the dying year,

The passions, once her peace that stole,
With flattering love my heart console.


WHEN my love was away,
Full three days were not sped,
I caught my fancy astray
Thinking if she were dead,

And I alone, alone:

It seemed in my misery
In all the world was none
Ever so lone as I.

I wept; but it did not shame
Nor comfort my heart away
I rode as I might, and came
To my love at close of day.

The sight of her stilled my fears,
My fairest-hearted love:

And yet in her eyes were tears:
Which when I questioned of,

O now thou art come, she cried,
'Tis fled but I thought to-day

I never could here abide,

If thou wert longer away.


THE storm is over, the land hushes to rest:

The tyrannous wind, its strength fordone,

Is fallen back in the west

To couch with the sinking sun.

The last clouds fare

With fainting speed, and their thin streamers fly

In melting drifts of the sky.

Already the birds in the air

Appear again; the rooks return to their haunt,

And one by one,

Proclaiming aloud their care,

Renew their peaceful chant.

Torn and shattered the trees their branches again reset, They trim afresh the fair

Few green and golden leaves withheld from the storm, And awhile will be handsome yet.

To-morrow's sun shall caress

Their remnant of loveliness:

In quiet days for a time

Sad Autumn lingering warm
Shall humour their faded prime.

But ah! the leaves of summer that lie on the ground! What havoc! The laughing timbrels of June,

That curtained the birds' cradles, and screened their song, That sheltered the cooing doves at noon,

Of airy fans the delicate throng,

Torn and scattered around:

Far out afield they lie,

In the watery furrows die,

In grassy pools of the flood they sink and drown,
Green-golden, orange, vermilion, golden and brown,
The high year's flaunting crown

Shattered and trampled down.

The day is done: the tired land looks for night:
She prays to the night to keep

In peace her nerves of delight:

While silver mist upstealeth silently,

And the broad cloud-driving moon in the clear sky
Lifts o'er the firs her shining shield,

And in her tranquil light

Sleep falls on forest and field.

Sée! sléep hath fallen: the trees are asleep :
The night is come.
The land is wrapt in sleep.


YE thrilled me once, ye mournful strains, Ye anthems of plaintive woe,

My spirit was sad when I was young;

Ah sorrowful long-ago!

But since I have found the beauty of joy
I have done with proud dismay :
For howsoe'er man hug his care
The best of his art is gay.

And yet if voices of fancy's choir
Again in mine ear awake

Your old lament, 'tis dear to me still,
Nor all for memory's sake:
'Tis like the dirge of sorrow dead,
Whose tears are wiped away;
Or drops of the shower when rain is o'er,
That jewel the brightened day.


SAY who is this with silvered hair,
So pale and worn and thin,
Who passeth here, and passeth there,
And looketh out and in?

That useth not our garb nor tongue
And knoweth things untold:
Who teacheth pleasure to the young,
And wisdom to the old?

No toil he maketh his by day,
No home his own by night;
But wheresoe'er he take his way,
He killeth our delight.

Since he is come there's nothing wise
Nor fair in man or child,
Unless his deep divining eyes

Have looked on it and smiled.

Whence came he hither all alone
Among our folk to spy?
There's nought that we can call our own,
Till he shall hap to die.

And I would dig his grave full deep
Beneath the churchyard yew,
Lest thence his wizard eyes might peep
To mark the things we do.


CROWN Winter with green,
And give him good drink
To physic his spleen
Or ever he think.

His mouth to the bowl,
His feet to the fire;
And let him, good soul,
No comfort desire.

So merry he be,

I bid him abide:
And merry be we
This good Yuletide.

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