Once, when autumn chills fell on the earth
And shadows lengthened earlier each eve,
I came each afternoon to such delight
That I did not discern the joy I felt
Until that happy season passed away.
What fellowship enfolded me in warmth
As days grew cool and winter’s cold drew near;
What unveiled glory glittered in my sight—
Though subtly, so I did not know its power
Until that sun had, for the winter, set—
As endless clouds drew curtains on the sky.
But now, as autumn breezes threaten frost,
And twilight glimmers closer every day,
Our fellowship has scattered, like sown seeds,
Across the land, and each leads separate life,
And those on whom the glory richly dwelt
Have since departed, each to such remove
That memories to shadows fade away
And written words have all but failed—Alas!
How happiness receded as years passed,
And melancholy humor has crept in.
The beginning of this poem came to me (with the memories it describes) while I was working outside earlier this month, and once I was inside and able to write it down (having repeated the first few lines over and over to myself to remember them) the rest of the poem essentially “wrote itself”.
I always welcome your comments, critique, suggestions, or any other feedback on this poem or any other part of my work. (In other words, if you like it, if you don’t like it, if something “works”, if something “doesn’t work”, if it makes you think of something or someone, etc., please comment and say so!) If you like this, you can subscribe to this blog, which includes one of my poems every Friday; you can also read other poems I’ve written here on my blog (or if that list is too intimidating, I’m posting more manageable subsets, like yesterday’s installment), so you can just start with those); I’d particularly like to know which poems you think are my best.
This poem is also posted on my wiki.