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The Visitings Of Truth Known Elsewhere

by Elizabeth Drew Stoddard, 1895

Spending abroad these varied autumn days,
Their melancholy legend I deny.
They keep a vanished treasure I will seek,
And follow on a track of mystic hopes.
While watching in thy atmosphere, I see
The form of beauty changes, not its soul.
When with the Spring, the flying feet of youth
Spurning the present as it passed, and me,
I thought the world a mere environment
To hold my wishes and my happiness.
I have forgot that foolish, vain belief,
Now in my sere and yellow leaf, serene,
I offer Autumn all my homage now.
The eddies, whirling, rustling in my path,
Lure me like sprites, and from the leaves a voice:
"Say not our lesson is decay; we fall,
And lo, the naked trees in beauty lift
Their delicate tracery against the sky.
On the pale verdure of the grass we spread
A shining web of scarlet, bronze, and gold;
When the rain comes, the oaks uphold us still.
The holly shines, and waits the Christmas chimes,
Beneath the branches of the evergreens."
November's clouds without a shadow lift
The purple mountains of its airy sphere,
And all my purpose waits upon them now.
Day fades—a rose above the darkling sea,
And from the amber sky clear twilight falls;
The orange woods grow black, and I go forth,
And as I go, the noiseless airs pass by,
And touch me like the petals of a flower;
The cricket chirps me in the warm, dry sod,
Drowsy, and I would pipe a cheery strain;
But from the pines I hear the call of night,
And round the quiet earth the stars wheel up,
With me eternal, and I stay beneath,
Until I fade into the fading plain.

Published in Poems

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