Reference > Anthologies > Warner, et al., eds. > The Library > Verse
  PREVIOUSNEXT  

CONTENTS · GENERAL INDEX · QUICK INDEX · SONGS & LYRICS · BIOGRAPHIES
READER’S DIGEST · STUDENT’S COURSE · PORTRAITS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
Autumn
By William Watson (1858–1935)
 
From ‘The Poems of William Watson’ (2 vols.)

THOU burden of all songs the earth hath sung,
  Thou retrospect in Time’s reverted eyes,
  Thou metaphor of everything that dies,
That dies ill-starred, or dies beloved and young
      And therefore blest and wise,—        5
O be less beautiful, or be less brief,
  Thou tragic splendor, strange, and full of fear!
  In vain her pageant shall the Summer rear?
At thy mute signal, leaf by golden leaf,
      Crumbles the gorgeous year.        10
 
Ah, ghostly as remembered mirth, the tale
  Of Summer’s bloom, the legend of the Spring!
  And thou, too, flutterest an impatient wing,
Thou presence yet more fugitive and frail,
      Thou most unbodied thing,        15
Whose very being is thy going hence,
  And passage and departure all thy theme;
  Whose life doth still a splendid dying seem
And thou at height of thy magnificence
      A figment and a dream.        20
 
Stilled is the virgin rapture that was June,
  And cold is August’s panting heart of fire;
  And in the storm-dismantled forest-choir
For thine own elegy the winds attune
      Their wild and wizard lyre;        25
And poignant grows the charm of thy decay,
  The pathos of thy beauty, and the sting,
  Thou parable of greatness vanishing!
For me, the woods of gold and skies of gray
      With speech fantastic ring.        30
 
For me, to dreams resigned, there come and go,
  ’Twixt mountains draped and hooded night and morn,
  Elusive notes in wandering wafture borne,
From undiscoverable lips that blow
      An immaterial horn;        35
And spectral seem thy winter-boding trees,
  Thy ruinous bowers and drifted foliage wet—
  O Past and Future in sad bridal met,
O voice of everything that perishes,
      And soul of all regret!        40
 
 
CONTENTS · GENERAL INDEX · SONGS & LYRICS · BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY
READER’S DIGEST · STUDENT’S COURSE · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
 

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.