A poem by Madison Julius Cawein


There's a scent of pungent wood smoke in the chill October air,
And a jack-o'-lantern glare, a wild and dusky glare,
'Tis the brush that burns and smoulders in the woods and by the ways,
The old New England ways,
When Autumn plants her gipsy tents and camps with all her days,
Along the shore, among the hills, beside the sounding sea,
And fills the land with haze of dreams and fires of mystery.


There's a sound of crickets crooning, and an owlet's quavering tune,
And a rim of frosty moon, a will-o'-wisp of moon,
And a camp-fire in a hollow of the ocean-haunted hills,
The old New England hills,
When Autumn keeps her tryst with Earth and cures his soul of ills:
And day and night he sits with her and hearkens to her dreams,
While, like a ghost, her camp-fire's smoke trails over woods and streams.


A frantic rush of faded leaves; a whirl of wind and rain;
And she is gone again; has struck her tents again.
As Dawn comes up with cold grey eyes that chill to ice the land,
The old New England land,
Her tents are gone and she is gone and gone her gipsy band,
And but a patteran of leaves to point her wandering way,
And ashes of a fire she lit, it seems, but yesterday.

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