Edward Dowden

(3 May 1843 - 4 April 1913 / Co. Cork / Ireland)

In The Garden VIII: Later Autumn


THIS is the year's despair: some wind last night
Utter'd too soon the irrevocable word,
And the leaves heard it, and the low clouds heard;
So a wan morning dawn'd of sterile light;
Flowers droop'd, or show'd a startled face and white;
The cattle cower'd, and one disconsolate bird
Chirp'd a weak note; last came this mist and blurr'd
The hills, and fed upon the fields like blight.
Ah, why so swift despair! There yet will be
Warm noons, the honey'd leavings of the year,
Hours of rich musing, ripest autumn's core,
And late-heap'd fruit, and falling hedge-berry,
Blossoms in cottage-crofts, and yet, once more,
A song, not less than June's, fervent and clear.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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