Alfred Austin

(30 May 1835 – 2 June 1913 / Headingley)

In Sutton Woods - Poem by Alfred Austin

There-peace once more; the restless roar
Of troubled cities dies away.
``Welcome to our broad shade once more,''
The dear old woodlands seem to say.

The sweet suggestions of the wind,
That spake in whispers, now are stilled;
The songless branches all remind
That summer's glory is fulfilled.

The petulant plaint of falling leaves
Dimples the leaden pool awhile;
So Age, impassive, but receives
Youth's tale of troubles with a smile.

O fallen leaves! O feelings dead!
O dimpled pool! O scornful lips!
O hardening of the heart and head!-
The summer's and the soul's eclipse!

Thus, as the seasons slip away,
How much is schemed, how little done!
What splendid plans at break of day!
What void regrets at set of sun!

The world goes round, for you, for me,
For him who sits, for him who strives,
And the great Fates indifferent see
The rage or respite of our lives.

Then fall, ye leaves! die out, thou breeze!
Grow sedges thick on every pool!
Let each old rushing impulse freeze,
Let each old generous friendship cool.

It is not love, it is not worth,
Self-sacrifice, or yearnings true,
Make the dull devotees of earth
Prostrate themselves and worship you.

The savage consciousness of powers,
The selfish purpose, stubborn will,
Have ever, in this world of ours,
Achieved success-achieve it still.

Farewell, ye woods! no more I sit;
Great voices in the distance call:
If this be peace-enough of it.
I go. Fall, unseen foliage, fall!


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 8, 2010



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