We woke today to find the wind
gently painting in the yard;
strokes of red and yellow gold
thickly strewn upon the green.
The trees now glow an august glow,
warmer now than in the heat—
and from their limbs the birds see signs
(bright omens of a dying land).
They lurch and jump from branch to branch
and boldly sing the sights they see:
Standing firm upon a hill
a great oak mourns and sheds his leaves
to supplicate a dying god;
he casts aside his green leaf garb
with fingers raised to beg the sun
some respite from the icy cold.
Soon after this the birds will leave
to seek some other living place,
while we remain to face the cold
and warm ourselves the best we can
by burning dead and broken trees.
And thinking thoughts of English tea
or cookies dipped in snow-cooled milk,
we try to sing some happy song
of wonder in a dying land.