Now the leaves are falling, bronze and brown and yellow,
Some are dry as parchment, crisp as new bank notes.
Seldom do I hear the wild birds singing;
What has stopped the music in their throats?
When the leaves are falling, gentle is their patter,
In the garden pathway such a night as this-
Never the breath of a light breeze stirring,
Even the violet must forego his kiss.

So it is at vespers, and likewise at the dawning,
When I am gazing through the window pane;
Often I think that the scene is sadder-
Sadder than the sobbing of the autumn rain.
Peach, unquiet dreamer! Better things are coming,
Brief the stress of winter, summer days are long.
Joy! The gray November, even now, presages
Riot of the roses, and the linnet's song!

More verses by Andrew Jackson Downing

Advertisement