Janet Hamilton

1795-1873 / Scotland

October Musings, 1866

Silent, grave, subdued, and sober,
Month beloved, my own October!
Resting in thy peaceful arms,
Seeing not, I feel thy charms-
Feel upon my withered cheek
Thy gentle breath, thy whispers meek;
Tell of Autumn's latest sheaves,
Songless woods, and falling leaves-
Nature's floral wreath despoiled;
Hueless, scentless, matted, soiled,
Fall her tresses thin and gray,
Bending to October's sway.
Summer sun with thirsty beams
Drinking dry the pools and streams:
Where thy fervid glories now,
The burning splendours of thy brow?
Veiled effulgence now is thine,
Tender radiance, half divine;
This dreamy quiet, this stilly calm,
Sheds around a soothing balm.
Hushed beneath the influence mild,
My soul is like a wean├Ęd child-
Weaned from earth's low cares and joys,
Vain pursuits, and worthless toys.
Life's short race is nearly run,
And the goal will soon be won;
Still I bear in heart and mind
The wants and sufferings of my kind.
Sad, yet sweet, to moralise
'Neath October's solemn skies,
When the finger of decay
Points the year's declining day;
Like the hand upon the wall,
'Born to die,' inscribes on all:
Flowers decayed and earth defiled,
Where of late they bloomed and smiled;
Fields and wood's dim, bare, and gray,
In every aspect of decay,
Tell me that I too must die-
In cold decay and darkness lie,
Till He, whose name I love and trust,
Shall wake to life my sleeping dust.
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