The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
littlereview

Poem for Tuesday and Canal at Carderock


November
By Lucy Larcom

Who said November’s face was grim?
    Who said her voice was harsh and sad?
I heard her sing in wood paths dim,
    I met her on the shore, so glad,
So smiling, I could kiss her feet!
There never was a month so sweet.

October’s splendid robes, that hid
    The beauty of the white-limbed trees,
Have dropped in tatters; yet amid
    Those perfect forms the gazer sees
A proud wood-monarch here and there
Garments of wine-dipped crimson wear.

In precious flakes the autumnal gold
    Is clinging to the forest’s fringe:
Yon bare twig to the sun will hold
    Each separate leaf, to show the tinge
Of glorious rose-light reddening through
Its jewels, beautiful as few.

Where short-lived wild-flowers bloomed and died
    The slanting sunbeams fall across
Vine-broideries, woven from side to side
    Above mosaics of tinted moss.
So does the Eternal Artist’s skill
Hide beauty under beauty still.

And, if no note of bee or bird
    Through the rapt stillness of the woods
Or the sea’s murmurous trance be heard,
    A Presence in these solitudes
Upon the spirit seems to press
The dew of God’s dear silences.

And if, out of some inner heaven,
    With soft relenting comes a day
Whereto the heart of June is given, —
    All subtle scents and spicery
Through forest crypts and arches steal,
With power unnumbered hurts to heal.

Through yonder rended veil of green,
    That used to shut the sky from me,
New glimpses of vast blue are seen;
    I never guessed that so much sea
Bordered my little plot of ground,
And held me clasped so close around.

This is the month of sunrise skies
     Intense with molten mist and flame;
Out of the purple deeps arrive
     Colors no painter yet could name:
Gold-lilies and the cardinal-flower
Were pale against this gorgeous hour.

Still lovelier when athwart the east
     The level beam of sunset falls:
The tints of wild-flowers long deceased
        Glow then upon the horizon walls;
Shades of the rose and violet
Close to their dear world lingering yet.

What idleness, to moan and fret
        For any season fair, gone by!
Life’s secret is not guessed at yet;
        Veil under veil its wonders lie.
Through grief and loss made glorious
The soul of past joy lives in us.

More welcome than voluptous gales
        This keen, crisp air, as conscience clear:
November breathes no flattering tales;—
        The plain truth-teller of the year,
Who wins her heart, and he alone,
Knows she has sweetness all her own.

--------

My Monday was very much a Monday -- lots of laundry, lots of chores. It was a nice day out, albeit cool, and we had to go out after lunch to drop off my last two boxes destined for Texas A&M (the KMAS incorporation papers and bylaws, academic books on fandom, a pile of official Star Trek fan club magazines, and a massive collection of Space: 1999 zine copies and no don't even ask about that). Walgreens said one of the boxes was too heavy for FedEx, which I think is nonsense but we took it to the FedEx depot on Rockville Pike just in case, and it had already moved to the center in Gaithersburg before we got home.

We took a walk in the mid-afternoon because it's already getting dark in the late afternoon, and have I mentioned lately how much I hate standard time? Then someone came to pick up the last big batch of magazines -- we have a few specialty ones, like Sports Illustrated swimsuit issues, that someone will probably give us a few bucks for -- and we had stew that had been cooking all day for dinner. We watched this week's Succession (go Shiv, as usual) and afterward some of Monday Night Football, boring because the game wasn't even close. Here's some of the leaf color we saw along the canal at Carderock last weekend:

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