The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Friday

By Thomas Hood

I saw old Autumn in the misty morn
Stand shadowless like Silence, listening
To silence, for no lonely bird would sing
Into his hollow ear from woods forlorn,
Nor lowly hedge nor solitary thorn;—
Shaking his languid locks all dewy bright
With tangled gossamer that fell by night,
  Pearling his coronet of golden corn.

Where are the songs of Summer?—With the sun,
Oping the dusky eyelids of the south,
Till shade and silence waken up as one,
And Morning sings with a warm odorous mouth.
Where are the merry birds?—Away, away,
On panting wings through the inclement skies,
      Lest owls should prey
      Undazzled at noonday,
And tear with horny beak their lustrous eyes.

Where are the blooms of Summer?—In the west,
Blushing their last to the last sunny hours,
When the mild Eve by sudden Night is prest
Like tearful Proserpine, snatch'd from her flow'rs
      To a most gloomy breast.
Where is the pride of Summer,—the green prime,—
The many, many leaves all twinkling?—Three
On the moss'd elm; three on the naked lime
Trembling,—and one upon the old oak-tree!
  Where is the Dryad's immortality?—
Gone into mournful cypress and dark yew,
Or wearing the long gloomy Winter through
  In the smooth holly's green eternity.

The squirrel gloats on his accomplish'd hoard,
The ants have brimm'd their garners with ripe grain,
    And honey bees have stored
The sweets of Summer in their luscious cells;
The swallows all have wing'd across the main;
But here the Autumn melancholy dwells,
    And sighs her tearful spells
Amongst the sunless shadows of the plain.
      Alone, alone,
      Upon a mossy stone,
She sits and reckons up the dead and gone
With the last leaves for a love-rosary,
Whilst all the wither'd world looks drearily,
Like a dim picture of the drownèd past
In the hush'd mind's mysterious far away,
Doubtful what ghostly thing will steal the last
Into that distance, gray upon the gray.

O go and sit with her, and be o'ershaded
Under the languid downfall of her hair:
She wears a coronal of flowers faded
Upon her forehead, and a face of care;—
There is enough of wither'd everywhere
To make her bower,—and enough of gloom;
There is enough of sadness to invite,
If only for the rose that died, whose doom
Is Beauty's,—she that with the living bloom
Of conscious cheeks most beautifies the light:
There is enough of sorrowing, and quite
Enough of bitter fruits the earth doth bear,—
Enough of chilly droppings for her bowl;
Enough of fear and shadowy despair,
To frame her cloudy prison for the soul!


In several hours my younger son has his school's welcome-back and meet-the-teacher breakfast, and Thursday night the temperature was cool and gorgeous -- I took a walk and watched a spectacular red-violet twilight and saw bats over the trees in the neighborhood, so it must be close enough to fall for that poem. Had a quiet day; I very nearly went out to get the second Eragon book for my older son, but discovered that had it the cheapest and also had The Historian nearly 50% off, so I ordered from them, and it's a good thing, because the mall where the Borders is had closed for several hours due to construction crews hitting a gas line! In the afternoon the kids played at a friend's house while I did some work, and I whiled away parts of the evening chatting.

Remember the disaster that befell my then-brand-new minivan last year? It inspired fic from ldybastet which is now posted, "Sometimes Broken Things", and involves Snape, Lupin, and the wizarding world equivalent of a lamppost falling on a minivan. And makes me very happy. *g*

Big animals at the Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo. Like this camel that apparently is not overly worried about that electric fence!


A mountain lion!

And tired-out tigers!

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