Come out, thou weary denizen, and take
A thoughtful look at Nature, ere the trees
Shall lose their green in the commingling shades
Of gorgeous wavy light and purple,
Brightening everywhere around thee, stealing
Unconsciously away the summer tints,
As thy years steal unconsciously from thee.
The flower yet lingers, and will bend toward
Thy gaze a look of courtesy and love,
Without a touch of the autumnal breath
Upon its petals; rills yet trickle down
Their pebbly beds, sending up liquid notes
In mournful cadence with the sounds with which
The air is rife--the lonely chirp of birds;
The liquid whisper of the ocean wave,
Sending its tremulous tide upon the shore
So faintly, that obeyance to the law
Of Nature seems too much, too harsh to give,
Save in a blended, low, pathetic tone,
Which echoes back more mournful still from hill
And forests, till the air we breathe is filled
With one long dirge of death and desolation,
Which into the heart will send its echo,
Wakening chords of sympathy untouched
Before, till a serenity so sweet
Comes gently hovering o'er its care-worn strings,
That life's dark heavy woes roll back to give
A glance of heavenly peace into the soul.
Lo! over Nature hangs a softened haze;
A mellow beauty rests o'er all the scene.
How dreamily it lies upon the glassy wave,
Like Hope, that broodeth o'er the soul in death,
Giving it peace ere it depart from earth.
What solemn thoughts pervade the mind
That looks upon the last fair leaves and flowers
That tarry yet, but loosening from their hold,
Will, in a few brief days, on tree or turf
Be seen no more, but swept away by winds,
And lost forever to the gazing eye.
And stay thy footsteps 'neath the green old trees
That skirt thy city toward yon setting sun--
Trees that thy fathers walked beneath, and stopped
To meditate on the autumnal change
Before them, as before thee now. The leaves
Were dropping silently and slow,
And Nature wore the same autumnal flush;
So shall thy children come, as comest thou,
To meditate upon the fading leaves and flowers,
When thou art mouldering in the silent earth.