Elizabeth Stoddard



The Visitings Of Truth Known Elsewhere

by Elizabeth Stoddard

Spending abroad these varied autumn days,
Their melancholy legend I deny.
They keep a vanished treasure I will seek,
And follow on a track of mystic hopes.
While watching in thy atmosphere, I see
The form of beauty changes, not its soul.
When with the Spring, the flying feet of youth
Spurning the present as it passed, and me,
I thought the world a mere environment
To hold my wishes and my happiness.
I have forgot that foolish, vain belief,
Now in my sere and yellow leaf, serene,
I offer Autumn all my homage now.
The eddies, whirling, rustling in my path,
Lure me like sprites, and from the leaves a voice:
Say not our lesson is decay; we fall,
And lo, the naked trees in beauty lift
Their delicate tracery against the sky.
On the pale verdure of the grass we spread
A shining web of scarlet, bronze, and gold;
When the rain comes, the oaks uphold us still.
The holly shines, and waits the Christmas chimes,
Beneath the branches of the evergreens.

November's clouds without a shadow lift
The purple mountains of its airy sphere,
And all my purpose waits upon them now.
Day fades -- a rose above the darkling sea,
And from the amber sky clear twilight falls;
The orange woods grow black, and I go forth,
And as I go, the noiseless airs pass by,
And touch me like the petals of a flower;
The cricket chirps me in the warm, dry sod,
Drowsy, and I would pipe a cheery strain;
But from the pines I hear the call of night,
And round the quiet earth the stars wheel up,
With me eternal, and I stay beneath,
Until I fade into the fading plain.


Copyright 1895
Houghton, Mifflin And Company, Boston And New York