Bayard Taylor image

Bayard Taylor

Jan. 11, 1825 - Dec 19, 1878


Autumnal Dreams

by Bayard Taylor


When the maple turns to crimson
And the sassafras to gold;
When the gentian 's in the meadow,
And the aster on the wold;
When the noon is lapped in vapor
And the night is frosty-cold:


When the chestnut-burs are opened,
And the acorns drop like hail,
And the drowsy air is startled
With the thumping of the flail, --
With the drumming of the partridge
And the whistle of the quail:


Through the rustling woods I wander,
Through the jewels of the year,
From the yellow uplands calling,
Seeking her that still is dear:
She is near me in the autumn,
She, the beautiful, is near.


Through the smoke of burning summer,
When the weary winds are still,
I can see her in the valley,
I can hear her on the hill, --
In the splendor of the woodlands,
In the whisper of the rill.


For the shores of Earth and Heaven
Meet, and mingle in the blue:
She can wander down the glory
To the places that she knew,
Where the happy lovers wandered
In the days when life was true.


So I think, when days are sweetest,
And the world is wholly fair,
She may sometime steal upon me
Through the dimness of the air,
With the cross upon her bosom
And the amaranth in her hair.


Once to meet her, ah! to meet her,
And to hold her gently fast
Till I blessed her, till she blessed me, --
That were happiness, at last:
That were bliss beyond our meetings
In the autumns of the Past!


The Poet's Journal
Copyright 1863
Ticknor and Fields, Boston