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A poem by Frances Fuller Victor


Title:     Autumnalia
Author: Frances Fuller Victor [More Titles by Victor]

The crimson color lays
As bright as beauty's blush along the West;
And a warm golden haze,
Promising sheafs of ripe Autumnal days
To crown the old year's crest.
Hangs in mid air, a half-pellucid maze,
Through which the sun at set,
Grown round and rosy, looks with Bacchian blush,
For an old wine-god meet--
Whose brows are dripping with the grape-blood sweet,
As if his southern flush
Rejoiced him, in his northern-zone retreat.

The amber-colored air
Musical is with hum of tiny things
Held idly, struggling there,
As if the golden mist entangled were
About the viewless wings,
That beat out music on their gilded snare.

If but a leaf, all gay
With Autumn's gorgeous coloring, doth fall,
Along its fluttering way
A shrill alarum wakes a sharp dismay,
And, answering to the call,
The insect chorus swells and dies away
With a fine piping noise.
As if some younger singing notes cried out,
As do mischievous boys--
Startling their playmates with a pained voice,
Or sudden thrilling shout,
Followed by laughters, full of little joys.

Perchance a lurking breeze
Springs, just awakened to its wayward play,
Tossing the sober trees
Into a frolic maze of ecstasies,
And snatching at the gay
Banners of Autumn, strews them where it please.

The sunset colors glow
A second time in flame from out the wood,
As bright and warm as though
The vanished clouds had fallen, and lodged below
Among the tree-tops, hued
With all the colors of heaven's signal-bow.

The fitful breezes die
Into a gentle whisper, and then sleep;
And sweetly, mournfully,
Starting to sight, in the transparent sky,
Lone in the upper deep,
Sad Hesper pours its beams upon the eye;
And for one little hour,
Holds audience with the lesser lights of heaven;
Then to its western bower
Descends in sudden darkness, as the flower
That at the fall of Even
Shuts its bright eye, and yields to slumber's power.

Soon, with a dusky face,
Pensive and proud as an East Indian queen,
And with a solemn grace,
The moon ascends, and takes her royal place
In the fair evening scene;
While all the reverential stars, apace,
Take up their march through the cool fields of space,
And dead is the sweet Autumn day whose close we've seen.

[The end]
Frances Fuller Victor's poem: Autumnalia