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Poem by Emma Lazarus

Autumn Sadness

     Air and sky are swathed in gold
         Fold on fold,
     Light glows through the trees like wine.
     Earth, sun-quickened, swoons for bliss
         'Neath his kiss,
     Breathless in a trance divine.

     Nature pauses from her task,
         Just to bask
     In these lull'd transfigured hours.
     The green leaf nor stays nor goes,
         But it grows
     Royaler than mid-June's flowers.

     Such impassioned silence fills
         All the hills
     Burning with unflickering fireЧ
     Such a blood-red splendor stains
         The leaves' veins,
     Life seems one fulfilled desire.

     While earth, sea, and heavens shine,
         Heart of mine,
     Say, what art thou waiting for?
     Shall the cup ne'er reach the lip,
         But still slip
     Till the life-long thirst give o'er?

     Shall my soul, no frosts may tame,
         Catch new flame
     From the incandescent air?
     In this nuptial joy apart,
         Oh my heart,
     Whither shall we lonely fare?

     Seek some dusky, twilight spot,
         Quite forgot
     Of the Autumn's Bacchic fire.
     Where soft mists and shadows sleep,
         There outweep
     Barren longing's vain desire.

Emma Lazarus

Emma Lazarus's other poems:
  1. On the Proposal to Erect a Monument in England to Lord Byron
  2. Arabesque
  3. Marriage Bells
  4. The World's Justice
  5. Matins

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