Autumn Is Ended
~J. Hazard Hartzell~

DOWN drop the painted leaves;
The world lies stripped and wounded, cold and bare;
Piled are the golden sheaves;
And past is every object sweet and fair.

Now faded are the flowers
And grass on sloping hills and tranquil dales;
And songless are the bowers
Where lovers came and breathed their secret tales.

The fruits are ripe and gone;
The fields have lost their wealth and vernal cheer;
The stars throw smiles upon
The full-armed gleaners of the harvest year.

Winds come with chilling breath;
Rains fall, and brooks from woods begin to rise;
Gloom fills the realm of death;
And birds take flight for warmth of southern skies.

There’s nothing bright nor fair,
Save fields of wheat that wear their cloaks of green;
There’s nothing in the air
But chill, where rays of gold and love have been.

The seed of change was sown
Through months, by viewless hands, in field and town;
And Autumn, near his throne,
Lets fall his crowded horn and brazen crown.

The fire burns on the hearth,
Where tempting fruit and charming books abound;
Love opens springs of mirth,
Where radiant hopes and bubbling joys are found.

The skies hang cold and gray;
Among the hills the winds begin to blow;
Herds strike their homeward way,
And earth grows white and strange with flying snow.

Yesterday, we used the unusually warm and sunny November day to visit the hills of southern Ohio. The trees were largely bereft of their leaves, the stubborn oaks holding their last few browned leaves, washing down in the silent forest, like lazy snowflakes that will soon be coming.

We feasted at Bob Evans restaurant before heading home.
It was a day to savor.