Archibald Lampman

An Autumn Landscape

    No wind there is that either pipes or moans;
      The fields are cold and still; the sky
        Is covered with a blue-gray sheet
        Of motionless cloud; and at my feet
      The river, curling softly by,
    Whispers and dimples round its quiet gray stones.

    Along the chill green slope that dips and heaves
      The road runs rough and silent, lined
        With plum-trees, misty and blue-gray,
        And poplars pallid as the day,
      In masses spectral, undefined,
    Pale greenish stems half hid in dry gray leaves.

    And on beside the river's sober edge
      A long fresh field lies black. Beyond,
        Low thickets gray and reddish stand,
        Stroked white with birch; and near at hand,
      Over a little steel-smooth pond,
    Hang multitudes of thin and withering sedge.

    Across a waste and solitary rise
      A ploughman urges his dull team,
        A stooped gray figure with prone brow
        That plunges bending to the plough
      With strong, uneven steps. The stream
    Rings and re-echoes with his furious cries.

    Sometimes the lowing of a cow, long-drawn,
      Comes from far off; and crows in strings
        Pass on the upper silences.
        A flock of small gray goldfinches,
      Flown down with silvery twitterings,
    Rustle among the birch-cones and are gone.

    This day the season seems like one that heeds,
      With fixèd ear and lifted hand,
        All moods that yet are known on earth,
        All motions that have faintest birth,
      If haply she may understand
    The utmost inward sense of all her deeds.

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