Monday, September 24, 2018

A Song of Early Autumn - Gilder

A Song of Early Autumn
by Richard Watson Gilder (1844-1909)

When late in summer the streams run yellow,
—Burst the bridges and spread into bays;
When berries are black and peaches are mellow,
—And hills are hidden by rainy haze;

When the goldenrod is golden still,
—But the heart of the sunflower is darker and sadder;
When the corn is in stacks on the slope of the hill,
—And slides o'er the path the stripèd adder;

When butterflies flutter from clover to thicket,
—Or wave their wings on the drooping leaf;
When the breeze comes shrill with the call of the cricket,
—Grasshopper's rasp, and rustle of sheaf;

When high in the field the fern-leaves wrinkle,
—And brown is the grass where the mowers have mown;
When low in the meadow the cow-bells tinkle,
—And small brooks crinkle o'er stock and stone;

When heavy and hollow the robin's whistle
—And shadows are deep in the heat of noon;
When the air is white with the down o' the thistle,
—And the sky is red with the harvest moon;

O, then be chary, young Robert and Mary,
—No time let slip, not a moment wait!
——If the fiddle would play it must stop its tuning;
——And they who would wed must be done with their mooning;
So let the churn rattle, see well to the cattle,
—And pile the wood by the barn-yard gate!

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