Before The Snow

A poem by George Parsons Lathrop

Autumn is gone: through the blue woodlands bare
Shatters the rainy wind. A myriad leaves,
Like birds that fly the mournful Northern air.
Flutter away from the old forest's eaves.

Autumn is gone: as yonder silent rill,
Slow eddying o'er thick leaf-heaps lately shed,
My spirit, as I walk, moves awed and still,
By thronging fancies wild and wistful led.

Autumn is gone: alas, how long ago
The grapes were plucked, and garnered was the grain!
How soon death settles on us, and the snow
Wraps with its white alike our graves, our gain!

Yea, autumn's gone! Yet it robs not my mood
Of that which makes moods dear, - some shoot of spring
Still sweet within me; or thoughts of yonder wood
We walked in, - memory's rare environing.

And, though they die, the seasons only take
A ruined substance. All that's best remains
In the essential vision that can make
One light for life, love, death, their joys, their pains.

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