Lyrics of Earth

by Archibald Lampman


 

 

BY AN AUTUMN STREAM


 

Now overhead,
Where the rivulet loiters and stops,
The bittersweet hangs from the tops
Of the alders and cherries
Its bunches of beautiful berries,                                             5
Orange and red.

And the snowbirds flee,
Tossing up on the far brown field,
Now flashing and now concealed,
Like fringes of spray                                                             10
That banish and gleam on the gray
Field of the sea.

Flickering light,
Come the last of the leaves down borne,
And patches of pale white corn                                           15
In the wind complain,
Like the slow rustle of rain
Noticed by night.

Withered and thinned,
The sentinel mullein looms,                                                  20
With the pale gray shadowy plumes
Of the goldenrod;
And the millkweed opens its pod,
Tempting the wind.

Aloft on the hill,                                                                      25
A cloudrift opens and shines
Through a break in its gorget of pines,
And it dreams at my feet
In a sad, silvery sheet,
Utterly still.                                                                              30

All things that be
Seem plunged into silence, distraught,
By some stern, some necessitous thought:
It wraps and enthralls
Marsh, meadow, and forest; and falls                                 35
Also on me.