“A November Sketch.”



Long bars of sky-gold, mixed with dross of cloud,
Gleam in the West beyond the solemn hills,
November’s brown and purple hills. The trees.
Stripped of their leaves, stand traced against the sky,
Sharply yet delicately drawn: and through
Their depths of dusky grey the yellow light
Streams slant upon the heaps of withered leaves
And the long faded grasses. Ye bare trees.
Grey naked forms by frost and winds disrobed
Of all your summer glories— not to me
Are ye bereft of beauty. Bards have sung
The festive luxury of Arcadian bowers:
The satiate sense of rounded summer time
Languished along the tones that told their joy
In the dense leafy woods. But now ye stand
Bared to the blast—your branches spread aloft
Gracefully interlacing, dreading not
The snows of winter, nor the midnight frosts,
Nor the fierce whirling of the Northern winds.
But waiting calmly for the kiss of Spring.
And so I seem to hear an under tone
In your prophetic stillness—“We but bide
Our hour—again and again for many a year
Shall we burst forth in blossoms and in leaves,
Proving that growth comes only out of change,
Light out of darkness—life from seeming death.”