by Dora Read Goodale (1866 - 1915)

from All Round the Year, Verses from Sky Farm


Walled in with fire on either hand
I walk the lonely wood-road thro’;
The maples flame above my head,
And spaces whence the wind has shed
About my feet the living red,
Are filled with broken blue.

And crowding close along the way,
The purple asters blossom free;
In full profusion, far and wide,
They fill the path on every side,
In loose confusion multiplied
To endless harmony!

The Autumn wood the aster knows,
The empty nest, the wind that grieves,
The sunlight breaking thro’ the shade,
The squirrel chattering overhead,
The timid rabbit’s lighter tread
Among the rustling leaves.

And still beside the shadowy glen
She holds the color of the skies;
Along the purpling wayside steep
She hangs her fringes passing deep,
And meadows drowned in happy sleep
Are lit by starry eyes!