In Beauty from the Skies

14 09 2014

The hills are clad in purple and in gold,
The ripened maize is gathered in the shock,
The frost has kissed the nuts, their shells unfold,
And fallen leaves are floating on the lock.

The flowers their many-colored petals drop;
But seed-pods full and ripe they leave behind,
A prophecy of more abundant crop,
And proof that nature in decay is kind.

But still the dahlia blooms, and pansies, too;
The golden-rod still rears its yellow crest.
The sumach bobs are now of crimson hue,
The luscious grape has donned its purple vest.

The forest trees, so long arrayed in green,
Wear now a robe like Joseph’s coat of old,
Brighter than that on eastern satrap seen,
Tho’ clad was he in purple and fine gold.

The woodbine twined about the giant oak
Blends with its purple-red a brighter shade.
Co-mingled thus our praises they evoke,
Tho’ we know well this glory soon must fade.

The fields are green with grass and new-sown wheat,
Tho’ here and there a brown stalk may appear,
A dying rag-weed, ripened by the heat,
To reproduce an hundred-fold next year.

The melon yellows in the kindly sun,
The peach puts on its blush like virtuous maid,
The gourd its snow-white band like brow of nun,
While flower and gum the air with fragrance lade.

The swallows gather on the fence and wire,
Chatter a loud farewell to barn and nest,
And then on wings which never seem to tire
They fly away in southern bowers to rest.

The thrush no longer sings its tender song
In osage thicket, or in locust hedge,
But pipes its notes the Negro boys among,
On cotton plant, or Alabama sedge.

The blackbird lingers by the flowing brook,
Or perches proudly on the shock of corn;
The lark still hovers round its meadow nook,
And soars and sings as on a vernal morn.

The robin, too, is loth to quit the lawn
And visits yet his nest beneath the eaves;
I hear his cheering notes at early dawn–
To part with these old friends my spirit grieves.

But soon these feathered songsters must away,
Ere winter’s frosts shall chill them thro’ and thro’;
In other lands they find the summer day,
The opening flower, and the refreshing dew.

The air, tho’ chill, is not surcharged with death,
But health-inspiring germs it bears along.
We drink in vigor with our every breath,
And life appears like spring, each day a song.

God spreads a carpet for our weary feet,
Richer than those which grace the palace floor;
The rainbow hues are in it all complete,
And tints, I think, of full a thousand more.

God with His hands of wind for woof collects
The forest leaves, and weaves them with the grass,
With nap of richest hues the fabric decks,
And spreads it out for feet of every class.

A haze at times may veil the smiling sky,
The sun his golden locks exchange for gray;
But soon a western blast comes sweeping by–
The mists depart, and glory crowns the day.

The lowing cattle roam from field to field;
No more content in narrow bounds to stay;
The ozone in the autumn air has healed
Their every ill, and lo, the dull beasts play.

This season has its lesson each should learn–
The fading leaf reminds us of our doom;
But whether like the stately tree, or fern,
In hope we travel onward to the tomb.

We look not for the Winter, but the Spring,
When we shall glow in beauty from the skies;
Each now his tribute sheaf of praise should bring,
Then hear his Lord’s “Well done!” O glorious prize.

Joseph Horatio Chant

An Autumn's Work

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