Good day and happy December and Happy Hanukkah (which begins today). I’ve started my shopping, put up lights outside, but haven’t yet gotten my Christmas tree or decorated the inside of my house. I’ve been lackadaisical and uninspired, spending time doing crosswords, catching up on past issues of The New Yorker, and reading mysteries (Glass Houses by Louise Penny and The White Trilogy by Ken Bruen).
Much have I spoken of the faded leaf;
Long have I listened to the wailing wind,
And watched it ploughing through the heavy clouds,
For autumn charms my melancholy mind.
When autumn comes, the poets sing a dirge:
The year must perish; all the flowers are dead;
The sheaves are gathered; and the mottled quail
Runs in the stubble, but the lark has fled!
Still, autumn ushers in the Christmas cheer,
The holly-berries and the ivy-tree:
They weave a chaplet for the Old Year’s bier,
These waiting mourners do not sing for me!
I find sweet peace in depths of autumn woods,
Where grow the ragged ferns and roughened moss;
The naked, silent trees have taught me this,—
The loss of beauty is not always loss!
Elizabeth Drew Stoddard
This poem appeared in Poems (Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1895). It is in the public domain.