Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO A MAPLE LEAF IN AUTUMN, by ROBERT UNDERWOOD JOHNSON



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TO A MAPLE LEAF IN AUTUMN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: How like to man art thou!
Last Line: Oh, let me fade like thee!
Subject(s): Autumn; Death; Leaves; Seasons; Fall; Dead, The


How like to Man art thou!
Canst thou thy change foresee --
What leaf upon the bough,
What bough upon the tree?

It was but yestere'en
Thou wert a loyal part
Of Summer's solid green
That stirred the grateful heart.

But. Night upon thee blew
With pale and frosty breath,
And left thy natural hue
Aflame in glorious death.

Or was there from thy birth
An ichor in thy blood,
Transmuting the dull earth
To Autumn's golden flood?

Thy going is not grief:
Thy splendor shall but make
Soil for another leaf
That follows in thy wake.

I in my Autumn hour
Do envy thee in thine:
Thy joy-diffusing power,
The year's consummate wine.

The light of yonder tree
My keenest hurt doth salve;
Better the gold we see
Than all the gold we have.

When my green strength be stayed,
And frost shall summon me,
If like a leaf I fade,
Oh, let me fade like thee!





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