How like a hooded friar, bent and grey,
Whose pensive lips speak only when they pray
Doth sad November pass upon his way.
Through forest aisles while the wind chanteth low -
In God's cathedral where the great trees grow,
Now all day long he paceth to and fro.
When shadows gather and the night-mists rise,
Up to the hills he lifts his sombre eyes
To where the last red rose of sunset lies.
A little smile he weareth, wise and cold,
The smile of one to whom all things are old,
And life is weary, as a tale twice told.
"Come see," he seems to say - "where joy has fled -
The leaves that burned but yesterday so red
Have turned to ashes - and the flowers are dead.
"The summer's green and gold hath taken flight,
October days have gone. Now bleached and white
Winter doth come with many a lonely night.
"And though the people will not heed or stay,
But pass with careless laughter on their way,
Even I, with rain of tears, will wait and pray."