Ye timbered pastures, bright with Autumn splendor,
Yet softened with the haze by distance lent,
What hallowed memories, sublime and tender,
Are with your glories blent!
Thrilled by the passing touch of magic fingers,
From pathless thicket to sky-reaching dome,
A peaceful solace ever gently lingers
And breathes of home.
Home! that one spot, wherever situated,
Clothed with grace no other clime may share,
From her bright precincts, by her love created,
Spring fadeless wreaths that later years shall wear;
Around her lowliest paths of daily duty
Gush rippling fountains, from Youth's glistening sands
Flow down the years, and dim with heaven-born beauty,
The glare and glitter of all other lands.
So in your shades, I love to muse and ponder
On moments yet to be,
When no more fresh to Youth's awakening wonder,
Your joys shall steal the shades of memory.
In your still aisles and forest sanctuaries,
Sacred as with the silent hush of prayer,
Spring for her farewell kiss the longer tarries
On Summer's golden stair;
And here old Autumn paints in rich profusion
Madroña berries and bright leaves of flame,
Then steals from out the forest's sweet seclusion,
Telling not whence he goes, or whence he came.
Beneath those gnarled old trees, antique and hoary,
Sear leaves have echoed to the Indian's tread,
And lovers oft have told the old-time story,
While birds sang overhead.
When Spring with fragrant breath and flower-wreathed tresses
Returns with dewdrops in her silken locks,
With lavish hands the frozen woods she blesses
And the mad cataracts leap o'er the rocks;
The tiny lake beneath the oak's gaunt branches
Shall overflow her rim,
While eddying circles whirl in graceful dances,
And dainty violets wreathe her mossy brim;
Then the proud fir in vernal gladness carries
Above her dark green branches, lighter plumes,
The forests change their bright madroña berries
For manzanita blooms.
But now they lie in Autumn's pensive glory,
Like the bright sunset of a shorter day
That only burns to end the beauteous story
And pass away;
So all these gleaming flames of gold and amber
A sad, sweet theme pervades,
Down shining steeps, the gloaming shadows clamber
And the bright sunset fades;
So o'er these Autumn woods, now robed in splendor, Winter will spread his pall;
The lonely pines in sighings soft and tender
Shall mourn their fall.