Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
1571. October in Tennessee
By Walter Malone
FAR, far away, beyond a hazy height,
  The turquoise skies are hung in dreamy sleep;
Below, the fields of cotton, fleecy-white,
  Are spreading like a mighty flock of sheep.
Now, like Aladdin of the days of old,        5
  October robes the weeds in purple gowns;
He Sprinkles all the sterile fields with gold,
  And all the rustic trees wear royal crowns.
The straggling fences all are interlaced
  With pink and purple morning-glory blooms;        10
The starry asters glorify the waste,
  While grasses stand on guard with pikes and plumes.
Yet still amid the splendor of decay
  The chill winds call for blossoms that are dead,
The cricket chirps for sunshine passed away,—        15
  The lovely summer songsters that have fled.
And lonesome in a haunt of withered vines,
  Amid the flutter of her withered leaves,
Pale Summer for her perished kingdom pines,
  And all the glories of her golden sheaves.        20
In vain October wooes her to remain
  Within the palace of his scarlet bowers,—
Entreats her to forget her heart-break pain,
  And weep no more above her faded flowers.
At last November, like a conqueror, comes        25
  To storm the golden city of his foe;
We hear his rude winds like the roll of drums,
Bringing their desolation and their woe.
The sunset, like a vast vermilion flood,
  Splashes its giant glowing waves on high,        30
The forest flames with blazes red as blood,—
  A conflagration sweeping to the sky.
Then all the treasures of that brilliant state
  Are gathered in a mighty funeral pyre;
October, like a King resigned to fate,        35
  Dies in his forests with their sunset fire.


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