Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fallen Leaves

Autumn in the Garden by Henry Van Dyke

When the frosty kiss of Autumn in the dark

Makes its mark

On the flowers, and the misty morning grieves

Over fallen leaves;

Then my olden garden, where the golden soil

Through the toil

Of a hundred years is mellow, rich, and deep,

Whispers in its sleep.

'Mid the crumpled beds of marigold and phlox,

Where the box

Borders with its glossy green the ancient walks,

There's a voice that talks

Of the human hopes that bloomed and withered here

Year by year,--

Dreams of joy, that brightened all the labouring hours,

Fading as the flowers.

Yet the whispered story does not deepen grief;

But relief

For the loneliness of sorrow seems to flow

From the Long-Ago,

When I think of other lives that learned, like mine,

To resign,

And remember that the sadness of the fall

Comes alike to all.

What regrets, what longings for the lost were theirs!

And what prayers

For the silent strength that nerves us to endure

Things we cannot cure!

Pacing up and down the garden where they paced,

I have traced

All their well-worn paths of patience, till I find

Comfort in my mind.

Faint and far away their ancient griefs appear:

Yet how near

Is the tender voice, the careworn, kindly face,

Of the human race!

Let us walk together in the garden, dearest heart,

Not apart!

They who know the sorrows other lives have known

Never walk alone.

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