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(22 July 1849 – 19 November 1887 / New York City / United States)

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Autumn Sadness

Air and sky are swathed in gold
Fold on fold,
Light glows through the trees like wine.
Earth, sun-quickened, swoons for bliss
'Neath his kiss,
Breathless in a trance divine.

Nature pauses from her task,
Just to bask
In these lull'd transfigured hours.
The green leaf nor stays nor goes,
But it grows
Royaler than mid-June's flowers.

Such impassioned silence fills
All the hills
Burning with unflickering fire-
Such a blood-red splendor stains
The leaves' veins,
Life seems one fulfilled desire.

While earth, sea, and heavens shine,
Heart of mine,
Say, what art thou waiting for?
Shall the cup ne'er reach the lip,
But still slip
Till the life-long thirst give o'er?

Shall my soul, no frosts may tame,
Catch new flame
From the incandescent air?
In this nuptial joy apart,
Oh my heart,
Whither shall we lonely fare?

Seek some dusky, twilight spot,
Quite forgot
Of the Autumn's Bacchic fire.
Where soft mists and shadows sleep,
There outweep
Barren longing's vain desire.

Submitted: Friday, April 16, 2010


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