November Trees.

From: The Bird and the Bell with Other Poems (1875)
Author: Christopher Pearse Cranch
Published: Osgood and Company 1875 Boston


LET poets sing of their leafy trees
When the tides of summer fancies swell
And rock their thoughts, as a tropic breeze
Rocks the bee in a lily’s bell;
But give me a harp whose ring is sharp,
Tuned for November melodies,
That I may roam the bleak hills alone
And sing of the gray and leafless trees.

Their boughs are bare in the twilight dark,
Cold and bare when the moon is high,
Like the cordage and masts of a stranded bark
That warp and freeze in a polar sky.
There is never a leaf the sky-born thief
Did not hurry away ere its color was gone.
But the boughs, though bare, to me are as fair
As the naked forms of the Parthenon.

Where the branches part in the dusky wood
The golden mist of the sunset streams;
And tracts of starlit solitude
Glimmer at night on a world of dreams.
The wind is chill on the rugged hill,
And the early snow is gathering;
But the winter is naught, for the boughs are fraught
With the flow of sap and the hope of spring.

O patriots whom the tyrant’s hate
O’ershadows like the winter drear,
While like the patient trees ye wait,
Freedom, the nation’s spring, is near.
Never despair, though the darkening air
Sweep all your summer leaves away;
The wind may rifle your branches bare,
Your leaves will burst anew in May!


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