Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) As Summer into Autumn slips
As Summer into Autumn slips
And yet we sooner say
“The Summer” than “the Autumn,” lest
We turn the sun away,
And almost count it an Affront
The presence to concede
Of one however lovely, not
The one that we have loved —
So we evade the charge of Years
On one attempting shy
The Circumvention of the Shaft
Of Life’s Declivity.
. . .
Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805) Different Destinies (translated from German)
Millions busily toil, that the human race may continue;
But by only a few is propagated our kind.
Thousands of seeds by the autumn are scattered, yet fruit is engendered
Only by few, for the most back to the element go.
But if one only can blossom, that one is able to scatter
Even a bright living world, filled with creations eterne.
. . .
Carl Sandburg (1878-1967) Sumach and Birds
If you never came with a pigeon rainbow purple
Shining in the six o’clock September dusk:
If the red sumach on the autumn roads
Never danced on the flame of your eyelashes:
If the red-haws never burst in a million
Crimson fingertwists of your heartcrying:
If all this beauty of yours never crushed me
Then there are many flying acres of birds for me,
Many drumming gray wings going home I shall see,
Many crying voices riding the north wind.
. . .
Sara Teasdale (1884-1933) Sleepless
If I could have your arms tonight—
But half the world and the broken sea
Lie between you and me.
The autumn rain reverberates in the courtyard,
Beating all night against the barren stone,
The sound of useless rain in the desolate courtyard
Makes me more alone.
If you were here, if you were only here —
My blood cries out to you all night in vain
As sleepless as the rain.
. . .
Louise Bogan (1897-1970) Last Hill in a Vista
Come, let us tell the weeds in ditches
How we are poor, who once had riches,
And lie out in the sparse and sodden
Pastures that the cows have trodden,
The while an autumn night seals down
The comforts of the wooden town.
Come, let us counsel some cold stranger
How we sought safety, but loved danger.
So, with stiff walls about us, we
Chose this more fragile boundary:
Hills, where light poplars, the firm oak,
Loosen into a little smoke.