Lyrics of Earth

by Archibald Lampman


 

 

AN AUTUMN LANDSCAPE


 

No wind there is that either pipes or moans;
    The fields are cold and still; the sky
       Is covered with a blue-gray sheet
       Of motionless cloud; and at my feet
    The river, curling softly by,                                                         5
Whispers and dimples round its quiet gray stones.

Along the chill green slope that dips and heaves
    The road runs rough and silent, lined
       With plum-trees, misty and blue-gray,
       And poplars pallid as the day,                                            10
    In masses spectral, undefined,
Pale greenish stems half hid in dry gray leaves.

And on beside the riverís sober edge
    A long fresh field lies black. Beyond,
       Low thickets gray and reddish stand,                                15
       Stroked white with birch; and near at hand
    Over a little steel-smooth pond,
Hang multitudes of thin and withering sedge.

Across a waste and solitary rise
    A ploughman urges his dull team,                                         20
       A stooped gray figure with prone brow
       That plunges bending to the plough
    With strong, uneven steps. The stream
Rings and re-echoes with his furious cries.

Sometimes the lowing of a cow, long-drawn,                          25
    Comes from far off; and crows in strings
       Pass on the upper silences.
       A flock of small gray goldfinches,
    Flown down with silvery twitterings,
Rustle among the birch-cones and are gone.                         30

This day the season seems like one that heeds,
    With fixed ear and lifted hand,
       All moods that yet are known on earth,
       All motions that have faintest birth,
    If haply she may understand                                                 35
The utmost inward sense of all her deeds.