Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AUTUMN, by ROSA MULHOLLAND

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AUTUMN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Under a purple cloud along the west
Last Line: Sleep unafraid, for ye shall live again.'
Alternate Author Name(s): Gilbert, Lady
Subject(s): Autumn; Seasons; Fall

Gold strings are strung in the harp of the sky;
Cloud-fingers, playing on them,
Make noiseless gossamer-melody;
As the amber-draped moon-maid
Trips from the sea to the Heavens
Dancing the measure of evening worship
Her mighty head is coifed in filmy gold,
Her youngest babe, the small, late-blossomed rose
Upon her swarthy bosom feeds and grows.

With her wide darkling gaze the mother sees
Her children in their homes, the reddening trees
Roofing wet lawns, fruit-laden lattices,
Blue mountain domes, and the grey river-seas.

A myriad flower-faces flush the air,
Sun-kindled eyes, the flaming outspread hair,
And vermeil cheeks, the children of her love,
Whose rapid heart-beats all her deep veins move.

The sun's fair children, he whose kisses burned
Upon her wedded lips, and now hath turned
Life-giving ardours upon other spheres,
Leaving their radiant offspring to her tears.

Still laugh they in their joy, with sapphire eyes,
And leafy wings of gold, and singing cries,
Still clap their rosy hands, and on the breeze
Cast fragments of their leafy draperies.

With tranquil heart the mother watcheth them,
Each flower erect upon its fearless stem;
A wind-tost head hath lost its ruby crown,
A sapphire zone is unaware let down.

There a wing drooped, and here, a love-lit face
Darkens and drops from its irradiate place;
A swaying of sweet limbs, and then a fall
Bewildering terror seizeth upon all.

They rush with stumbling feet and blinding hair
To her who waiteth in her darkening lair,
Destruction following; their anguished cry
Rings in her ears, 'O Mother, must we die?'

Then openeth she, the mighty one, her breast,
And folds them all within her arms of rest;
'Ye are immortal, children of my pain;
Sleep unafraid, for ye shall live again.'

Coral-music, the sunset writes on the scroll of the sea;

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