Round and round the garden rushed a sudden blast,
Crying, “Autumn! Autumn!” shuddering as it passed.
Dry poppy-head and larkspur-spike shrill whistled in the wind,
Together whispering, “Autumn! and Winter is behind!”
Tossed the sumach pennons, green and gold and red;
Flapped the awning scallops loudly overhead;
Swung the empty hammocks lightly to and fro;
While the crickets simmered, chirruping below.
Keen the star of evening hung glittering in the sky,
Red the west was burning, deepening silently;
Summer constellations slow wheeling out of sight,
Great Orion shining clear upon the face of night.
Sadly sang the ocean, sighing in the dark;
Far away the lighthouse lit a sudden spark;
Black against the sunset sails were gliding past;
Earth and sea and sky were saying, “Autumn’s here at last!”
Soon will snow be flying, soon will tempests roar,
Soon the freezing north will lash us bitter as before;
I heard the waters whisper, I heard the winds complain,
But sweet, reluctant Summer I knew would come again.