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All through the golden haze
     Leaves were drifting and falling.
All through the mellow days
     Boughs were bending and calling
To their little castaways.
     Through branches almost bare
A squirrel came frisking and springing.
     No restless birds were there:
Yet he was bounding and swinging
     As if born of the sky and air.
But in the winter cold
     Who will be loving and caring
For the leaves, then withered and old;
     Or the sprite with his tilting and daring,
And no tender arm to enfold?
     All through the changeful year
Nature is finding and keeping
     A home for her children dear;
And the waifs may go fluttering or leaping
     With never a shade of fear.

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Mary Thacher Higginson (1)
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