Blood-coloured oaks, that stand against a sky of gold and brass;
Gaunt slopes, on which the bleak leaves glow of brier and sassafras,
And broom-sedge strips of smoky pink and pearl-gray clumps of grass,
In which, beneath the ragged sky, the rain-pools gleam like glass.
From West to East, from wood to wood, along the forest-side,
The winds,--the sowers of the LORD,--with thunderous footsteps stride;
Their stormy hands rain acorns down; and mad leaves, wildly dyed,
Like tatters of their rushing cloaks, stream round them far and wide.
The frail leaf-cricket in the weeds rings a faint fairy bell;
And like a torch of phantom ray the milkweed's windy shell
Glimmers; while wrapped in withered dreams, the wet autumnal smell
Of loam and leaf, like some sad ghost, steals over field and dell.
The oaks against a copper sky--o'er which, like some black lake
Of DIS, dark clouds, like surges fringed with sullen fire, break--
Loom sombre as Doom's citadel above the vales, that make
A pathway to a land of mist the moon's pale feet shall take.
Now, dyed with burning carbuncle, a Limbo-litten pane,
Within its wall of storm, the West opens to hill and plain,
On which the wild geese ink themselves, a far triangled train;
And then the shuttering clouds close down--and night is here again.