Autumn clouds are flying, flying
O’er the waste of blue;
Summer flowers are dying, dying,
Late so lovely new.
Labouring wains are slowly rolling
Home with winter grain;
Holy bells are slowly tolling
Over buried men.
Goldener light sets noon a sleeping
Like an afternoon;
Colder airs come stealing, creeping
From the misty moon;
And the leaves, of old age dying,
Earthy hues put on;
Out on every lone wind sighing
That their day is gone.
Autumn’s sun is sinking, sinking
Down to winter low;
And our hearts are thinking, thinking
Of the sleet and snow;
For our sun is slowly sliding
Down the hill of might;
And no moon is softly gliding
Up the slope of night.
See the bare fields’ pillaged prizes
Heaped in golden glooms!
See, the earth’s outworn sunrises
Dream in cloudy tombs!
Darkling flowers but wait the blowing
Of a quickening wind;
And the man, through Death’s door going,
Leaves old Death behind.
Mourn not, then, clear tones that alter;
Let the gold turn gray;
Feet, though feeble, still may falter
Toward the better day!
Brother, let not weak faith linger
O’er a withered thing;
Mark how Autumn’s prophet finger
Burns to hues of Spring.