Dull November Day

Elaine Goodale Eastman (1863 - 1953)

from All Round the Year, Verses from Sky Farm


In Blackness sinks the dull November Day, With gathering night the air grows bitter chill, While, over sodden Field and leafless hill, The wind, in sullen mood, disturbs the curtained gray.

No tardy color breaks the dreary line, No bird-note lingers in the frosty air, The skies are blank, the earth is cold and bare,– Hope droops her shining wings, and gives no happier sign.

Mute Sorrow broods above the lonely heath, And folds us closer in her funeral pall; Our sinking hearts accept the doom of all, And still obey her work who bringeth life and death.

Yet not alone the symbols of decay, We can but see the signs of newer birth; Pillowed on quiet snows, the sleeping earth Holds all her power in check, and waits the coming day!

The stately hemlocks keep their mantled green, And front the blast with all their ancient pride; And even the pencilled alders still abide,– Their catkins tightly closed droop blackly o’er the stream.

O wild-wood flowers, we knew and loved you well, Yet cannot mourn for that which is not lost; No piercing blast, no hard relentless frost, Can reach the inner world where you were wont to dwell!

The reigning year no absolute power can bring, Beyond its rule our true allegiance lies; We brave the night with glad, prophetic eyes, And lo! returns afar our hope’s immortal Spring!