Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, STANZAS, by JOHN GARDINER CALKINS BRAINARD

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

STANZAS, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: The dead leaves strew the forest-walk
Last Line: Feel --that it all is cold and gone.
Subject(s): Winter; Transience; Truth; Impermanence

THE dead leaves strew the forest walk,
And withered are the pale wild flowers;
The frost hangs blackening on the stalk,
The dewdrops fall in frozen showers.
Gone are the Spring's green sprouting bowers,
Gone Summer's rich and mantling vines,
And Autumn, with her yellow hours,
On hill and plain no longer shines.
I learned a clear and wild-toned note,
That rose and swelled from yonder tree--
A gay bird, with too sweet a throat,
There perched and raised her song for me.
The winter comes, and where is she?
Away -- where summer wings will rove,
Where buds are fresh, and every tree
Is vocal with the notes of love.
Too mild the breath of southern sky,
Too fresh the flower that blushes there,
The northern breeze that rustles by,
Finds leaves too green, and buds too fair;
No forest tree stands stripped and bare,
No stream beneath the ice is dead,
No mountain top with sleety hair
Bends o'er the snows its reverend head.
Go there, with all the birds, -- and seek
A happier clime, with livelier flight,
Kiss, with the sun, the evening's cheek,
And leave me lonely with the night.
-- I'll gaze upon the cold north light,
And mark where all its glories shone --
See --that it all is fair and bright,
Feel --that it all is cold and gone.

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