The Waning Year

A poem by Madison Julius Cawein

A Sense of something that is sad and strange;
Of something that is felt as death is felt,
As shadows, phantoms, in a haunted grange,
Around me seems to melt.

It rises, so it seems, from the decay
Of the dim woods; from withered leaves and weeds,
And dead flowers hanging by the woodland way
Sad, hoary heads of seeds.

And from the cricket's song, so feeble now
'T is like a sound heard in the heart, a call
Dreamier than dreams; and from the shaken bough,
From which the acorns fall.

From scents and sounds it rises, sadly slow,
This presence, that hath neither face nor form;
That in the woods sits like demented woe,
Whispering of wreck and storm.

A presence wrought of melancholy grief,
And dreams that die; that, in the streaming night,
I shall behold, like some fantastic leaf,
Beat at my window's light.

That I shall hear, outside my storm-lashed door,
Moan like the wind in some rain-tortured tree;
Or 'round my roof and down my chimney roar
All the wild night to me.

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