previous next
     And sundown clouds have caught again
The flush of ripe October.

We hear the woody hill-tops croon,
     The airy maize-blades whisper,
The year is in its afternoon,
     And leaf-bells ring the vesper.

What is it gives this gloaming song,
     Its melancholy feature?
What is it makes our souls prolong
     This monotone of nature?

What tearful grief is in our hearts—
     What swaying under-reason?
What sorrow real now imparts
     Its spirits to the season?

The crisping leaves may shoal the ways,
     The sun turn down the heavens—
Still all the years have fading days,
     And all the days have evens.

Enough—whatever else may be—
     That in this Autumn weather,
The verdure of the world and Lee
     Have silent fled together.

So prone are men where'er they move
     To tread the ways of evil,
They seldom hold their kind above
     A common grade and level.

But Lee, beside his fellowmen,
     Stood, over all, a giant—
The higher type—the perfect plan—
     God fearing, God reliant.

A giant not alone in fields
     Where bent the sanguine Reaper,
Where death threw o'er his harvest-yields
     An autumn crimson deeper;

But with the iron strength of will
     He sought his life to fashion,
He held his ruder pulses still
     And closed the gates of passion.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Fitzhugh Lee (2)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
October (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: