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An Autumn Elegy

By C. W. Dalmon

Now it is fitting, and becomes us all
To think how fast our time of being fades.
    The Year puts down his mead-cup, with a sigh,
    And kneels, deep in the red and yellow glades,
    And tells his beads like one about to die ;
    For, when the last leaves fall,
    He must away unto a bare, cold cell
    In white St. Winter’s monastery ; there
    To do hard penance for the joys that were,
    Until the New Year tolls his passing-bell.

And ’tis in vain to whisper, ” Be of cheer,
    There is a resurrection after death ;
    When Autumn tears will turn to Spring-time rain,
    As through the earth the Spirit quickeneth
    Toward the old, glad Summer-life again ! “
    He will not smile to hear,
    But only look more sorrowful, and say,
    ” How can you mock me if you love me ? No ;
    The day draws very nigh when I must go ;
    The new will be the new ; I pass away.”


The Yellow Book—Vol. IV. P

                        248 An Autumn Elegy

Yet, kneeling with him, still more sad than he,
    I saw him once turn round and smile as sweet
    As in the happy rose and lily days,
    When, from between the stubble of the wheat,
    A skylark soared up through the clouds to praise
    The sun’s eternity.
    Hope seemed to flash a moment in his eyes ;
    And, knowing him so well, I know he thought—
    ” How fair the legend through the ages brought,
    That still to live is Death’s most sweet surprise ! “

MLA citation:

Dalmon, C. W. [Charles William]. “An Autumn Elegy.” The Yellow Book, vol. 4, January 1895, pp. 247-48. Yellow Book Digital Edition, edited by Dennis Denisoff and Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, 2010-2014. Yellow Nineties 2.0, Ryerson University Centre for Digital Humanities, 2019.