Liberty Hyde Bailey
(From Wind and Weather: Poems.
Reprinted Doulos Christou Press, 2008)
It is now the high December.
The last betokened ember
Of the striving vivid year
That survived the brown November
Lies dead and painless here
Lies dead and pinched and sere;
And the fruits of proud September
Are hanging hanging here
They are hanging thin and sere;
And the masks of ward and rober
That bedecked the dyed October
They have found their finish here
They are lying crisped and sere
They are drifting bleached and blear.
It was in a far December
As distinctly I remember
Of a youthful doubtful year
That I sat in whitened fear
Of the death-end of the year;
For in forests gray and sober
I had mourned the red October
I had grieved for forests dry and drear;
And the crows and chickadees
And the wind-gusts in the trees
Made my sorrow sharp and clear,
And the leaves keen-edged and sere
Rasped an anguish in my ear
Of the dead and absent year.