The Changing Year.

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


AH, fleeting year that wilt not pause a day
To leave a picture of thy changeful moods!
Glories scarce shown and seen, and snatched away,
Of sunsets, flushing roses, fields and woods.

The early blossoms leave the rugged thorn;
The purple lilacs wither in the lanes;
The violets’ breath, sweet for one April morn,
Is stifled in dead leaves and drowning rains.

The chrome-gold dandelion stars of spring
Burn out in ashy globes ere June is passed.
Too soon the hidden thrushes cease to sing,
Too soon the summer leaves hear autumn’s blast.

And ere we know, the locust’s long-drawn trill
Swells in the August noon, and nights grow cool,
And see-saw katydids foretell the chill
Of leafless forest and of icy pool.

And flaunting golden-rods, and cardinal flowers,
And drooping golden helmets skirt the streams,
And sighing winds give warning, and the hours
Of sunshine waste in cloudy twilight gleams.

Yet paint thy pictures, Time, and sing thy songs!
Thy pictures fade, thy songs die on the air.
Thou canst not take what to the soul belongs,—
Beauty’s immortal essence everywhere.

The summer goes, brown autumn treads behind,
White winter scowls afar upon my rhyme.
I feel a Presence that is unconfined;
I hear a Voice whose music fills all time.

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