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by Elizabeth Drew Stoddard, 1895

Much have I spoken of the faded leaf;
  Long have I listened to the wailing wind,
And watched it ploughing through the heavy clouds,
  For autumn charms my melancholy mind.

When autumn comes, the poets sing a dirge:
  The year must perish; all the flowers are dead;
The sheaves are gathered; and the mottled quail
  Runs in the stubble, but the lark has fled!

Still, autumn ushers in the Christmas cheer,
  The holly-berries and the ivy-tree:
They weave a chaplet for the Old Year's bier
  These waiting mourners do not sing for me!

I find sweet peace in depths of autumn woods.
  Where grow the ragged ferns and roughened moss;
The naked, silent trees have taught me this,—
  The loss of beauty is not always loss!

Published in Poems
Tags: autumn, beauty, christmas, hope, loss, nature

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