Winter Rain

A poem by Madison Julius Cawein

Wild clouds roll up, slag-dark and slaty gray,
And in the oaks the sere wind sobs and sighs,
Weird as a word a man before he dies
Mutters beneath his breath yet fears to say:
The rain drives down; and by each forest way
Each dead leaf drips, and murmurings arise
As of fantastic footsteps, one who flies,
Whispering, the dim eidolon of the day.

Now is the wood a place where phantoms house:
Around each tree wan ghosts of flowers crowd,
And spectres of sweet weeds that once were fair,
Rustling; and through the bleakness of bare boughs
A voice is heard, now low, now stormy loud,
As if the ghosts of all the leaves were there.

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