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Ella Wheeler Wilcox 1855 (Janesville) – 1919

All in the beautiful Autumn weather
 One thought lingers with me and stays;
Death and winter are coming together,
 Though both are veiled by the amber haze
I look on the forest of royal splendour!
 I look on the face in my quiet room;
A face all beautiful, sad and tender,
 And both are stamped with the seal of doom.

All through the days of Indian summer,
 Minute by minute and hour by hour,
I feel the approach of a dreaded Comer –
 A ghastly presence of awful power.
I hear the birds in the early morning,
 As they fly from the fields that are turning brown,
And at noon and at night my heart takes warning,
 For the maple leaves fall down and down.

The sumac bushes are all a-flaming!
 The world is scarlet, and gold, and green,
And my darling’s beautiful cheeks are shaming
 The painted bloom of the ball-room queen.
Why talk of winter, amid such glory?
 Why speak of death of a thing so fair?
Oh, but the forest king white and hoary
 Is weaving a mantle for both to wear.

God! If I could by the soft deceiving
 Of forests of splendour and cheeks of bloom
Lull my heart into sweet believing
 Just for a moment and drown my gloom;
If I could forget for a second only
 And rest from the pain of this awful dread
Of the days that are coming long and lonely
 When the Autumn goes and she is dead.

But all the while the sun gilds wood and meadow
 And the fair cheeks, hectic glows and cheats,
I know grim death sits veiled in shadow
 Weaving for both their winding sheets.
I cannot help, and I cannot save her.
 My hands are as weak as a babe’s new-born;
I must yield her up to One who gave her
 And wait for the resurrection morn.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:34 min read

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Ella Wheeler Wilcox was an American author and poet. more…

All Ella Wheeler Wilcox poems | Ella Wheeler Wilcox Books

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