The Autumn Wind

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HUSH, moaning autumn wind! be still, be still!
Thy grieving voice forbiddeth hearts to rest;
We hear thee sweeping down the lonely hill,
And mournful thoughts crowd o'er the human breast.
Why wilt thou haunt us, with thy voice unkind,
Sadd'ning the earth? Hush, moaning autumn wind!

Toss not the branching trees so wildly high,
Filling the forest with thy dreary sound:
Without thy aid the hues of summer die,
And the sear leaves fall scatter'd to the ground.
Thou dost but hasten, needlessly unkind,
The winter's task, thou moaning autumn wind!

Sweep not thro' Ocean's caves with hollow roar,
Driving our fair ships to some rock-bound strand!
While the vex'd sea foams wrathful to the shore,
The seaman's wife looks shuddering from the land,
And widow'd hearts for many a year shall find
Death in thy voice, thou moaning autumn wind!

Round our calm dwellings, when our hearths are gay,
Roam not, oh howling spirit of Despair!
As tho' thou wert a creature seeking prey,
And where the land look'd richest, found it there.
We have enough of memories unkind
Without thy voice, thou moaning autumn wind!

Thee the sad mourner lists, and turns to weep,
In the blank silence of her lonely home;
The sick man hears, and starts from broken sleep,
And the night-wanderer sighs--compell'd to roam;
While the poor shiver, for their huts unkind
Bar thee not out, thou searching autumn wind!

Back to the barren hill and lonely glen!
Here let the wandering of thy echoes cease;
Sadly thou soundest to the hearts of men,--
Hush thy wild voice, and let the earth have peace;
Or, if no chain thy restless will can bind,
Sweep thro' the desert, moaning autumn wind!

© Caroline Norton