I gaze upon these leaves which once were green,
adding such splendour to the verdant scene;
Firm in their footings, dancing in the breeze,
flirtatiously carousing at their ease;
Unthinking and uncaring of the truth,
blind in the callow ignorance of youth.
Then for a fleeting rhapsody of time
they seem to find a majesty sublime.
Fiery red robes and crowns of russet gold
create a sight so wondrous to behold.
Their whispered conference, so wise, so sage;
until the season turns another page.
Their beauty fades, as each must close his term,
brittle and ageing, crumbling and infirm;
Shivering in the chill when North winds blow,
yielding themselves before the Winter’s snow.
Crimson and gold give way to sodden rust,
and finally returns to earthly dust.
Reflections in the corner of my mind
regard that cycle, and myself I find.
In youthful stride, I swaggered down the street,
tasting each maiden, finding life so sweet.
Blind in my folly, throwing love away
content to know I’d love another day.
Maturing then, and with no hesitation
striding the path which led me to my station.
Discoursing there, with tongue so erudite
on ceaseless ways to put the world to right;
While other heads would nod, or disagree.
Voices that met in muted harmony.
But Time’s relentless mill stones slowly grind.
Brittle the body, ageing is the mind.
Is life to be so temporal and brief?
Will joys succumb, and sorrows meld with grief?
Until the cycle falters, and I must,
like Autumn leaves, lie crumbling in the dust.
Poet's Notes about The Poem
Comments about this poem (Autumnal by Thomas Vaughan Jones )
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