Alcyone

by Archibald Lampman


 

 

SAPPHICS


 

Clothed in splendour, beautifully sad and silent,
Comes the autumn over the woods and highlands,
Golden, rose-red, full of divine remembrance,
               Full of foreboding.

Soon the maples, soon will the glowing birches,                    5
Stripped of all that summer and love had dowered them,
Dream, sad-limbed, beholding their pomp and treasure
              Ruthlessly scattered:

Yet they quail not: Winter with wind and iron
Comes and finds them silent and uncomplaining,               10
Finds them tameless, beautiful still and gracious,
              Gravely enduring.

Me too changes, bitter and full of evil,
Dream by dream have plundered and left me naked,
Grey with sorrow. Even the days before me                         15
              Fade into twilight,

Mute and barren. Yet will I keep my spirit
Clear and valiant, brother to these my noble
Elms and maples, utterly grave and fearless,
              Grandly ungrieving.                                                    20

Brief the span is, counting the years of mortals,
Strange and sad; it passes, and then the bright earth,
Careless mother, gleaming with gold and azure,
              Lovely with blossomsó

Shining white anemones, mixed with roses,                        25
Daisies mild-eyed, grasses and honeyed cloveró
You, and me, and all of us, met and equal,
              Softly shall cover.