Verse > Anthologies > Jessie B. Rittenhouse, ed. > The Second Book of Modern Verse
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Jessie B. Rittenhouse, ed. (1869–1948).  The Second Book of Modern Verse.  1922.
 
Smith, of the Third Oregon, dies
 
Mary Carolyn Davies
 
 
AUTUMN 1 in Oregon is wet as Spring,
And green, with little singings in the grass,
    And pheasants flying,
Gold, green and red,
Great, narrow, lovely things,        5
As if an orchid had snatched wings.
There are strange birds like blots against a sky
    Where a sun is dying.
Beyond the river where the hills are blurred
A cloud, like the one word        10
Of the too-silent sky, stirs, and there stand
    Black trees on either hand.
Autumn in Oregon is wet and new
    As Spring,
And puts a fever like Spring’s in the cheek        15
That once has touched her dew—
And it puts longing too
In eyes that once have seen
Her season-flouting green,
    And ears that listened to her strange birds speak.        20
 
Autumn in Oregon—I’ll never see
Those hills again, a blur of blue and rain
Across the old Willamette. I’ll not stir
A pheasant as I walk, and hear it whirr
Above my head, an indolent, trusting thing.        25
When all this silly dream is finished here,
The fellows will go home to where there fall
Rose-petals over every street, and all
The year is like a friendly festival.
But I shall never watch those hedges drip        30
Color, not see the tall spar of a ship
In our old harbor.—They say that I am dying,
Perhaps that’s why it all comes back again:
Autumn in Oregon and pheasants flying—
 
Note 1. Reprinted by permission of the publishers, from Drums in Our Street, by Mary Carolyn Davies. Copyright, 1918, by The Macmillan Company. [back]
 

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