by George Sterling (1869–1926)
Now droops the troubled year
And now her tiny sunset stains the leaf.
A holy fear,
A rapt, elusive grief,
Make imminent the swift, exalting tear.
The long wind’s weary sigh—
Knowest, O listener! for what it wakes?
Adown the sky
What star of Time forsakes
Her pinnacle? What dream and dreamer die?
A presence half-divine
Stands at the threshold, ready to depart
Without a sign.
Now seems the world’s deep heart
About to break. What sorrow stirs in mine?
A mist of twilight rain
Hides now the orange edges of the day.
In vain, in vain
We labor that thou stay,
Beauty who wast, and shalt not be again!
Sterling, George. The House of Orchids and Other Poems. (San Francisco: A. M. Robertson, 1911).
HTML Copyright © 2004 by Charles E. Galvin Jr. All rights reserved.
URI for this page: http://www.idiom.com/~cxarli/english/sterling/orchids/autumn.html