Now Autumn’s fire burns slowly along the woods,
And day by day the dead leaves fall and melt,
And night by night the monitory blast
Wails in the key-hold, telling how it pass’d
O’er empty fields, or upland solitudes,
Or grim wide wave; and now the power is felt
Of melancholy, tenderer in its moods
Than any joy indulgent summer dealt.
Dear friends, together in the glimmering eve,
Pensive and glad, with tones that recognise
The soft invisible dew in each one’s eyes,
It may be, somewhat thus we shall have leave
To walk with memory,–when distant lies
Poor Earth, where we were wont to live and grieve.

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One Response to “Poem for a Beautiful Halloween Night: William Allingham’s “Autumnal Sonnet””

  1. dmf Says:

    Leaves rip from the trees
    still green as rain scuds
    off the ocean in broad grey
    scimitars of water hard
    as granite pebbles flung
    in my face.

    Sometimes my days are torn
    from the calendar,
    hardly touched and gone,
    like leaves too fresh
    still to fall littering
    sodden on the bricks.

    But I have had them—
    torrents of days. Who
    am I to complain they
    shorten? I used them
    hard, wore them out
    and down, grabbed

    at what chance offered.
    If I stand stripped
    and bare, my bones
    still shine like opals
    where love rubbed sweetly,
    hard, against them.

    “October nor’easter” by Marge Piercy

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