'Tis Autumn--and the winds are high
And storm--clouds scud across the sky;
The yellow groves on Dee's dark side
Grow paler each approaching tide,
As though they feared the rising waves
Would sweep them to untimely graves.
No flowers are now with dew--lit eye
To lure the light breeze loitering by;
No roses shed their rich perfume
From hearts just hid in sweets and gloom;
But barren stem and withered leaf
Are all that's left for love and grief.
Behind yon hills which fence the west
The sun sets on the sea's wild breast;
Not as in summer time he went
A warrior to his crimson tent,
While all the glory of the world
Stood waving like a flag unfurled
Around him, as the bright one bowed,
And laid him on a golden cloud;
But wan and weary, sick and dim,
He dies, and Heaven seems nought to him:--
So glares the dying on the dead,
Stretched upon battle's gory bed.
The clouds careering swift on high
In continents o'erspread the sky;
And mists come reeking up the plain,
And pattering quick the chilling rain,
And sullen Moël Famma shrouds
Her column--crowned head in clouds.
From Grosvenor's woods are falling fast
The leaves beneath the loosening blast;
Yet lovelier now those groves appear
Than in the noontide of the year,
Where crimson blends with deepest green,
And brown and amber glow between;
So sunset hath the richest sky,
So saints look happiest as they die.
The floods are flowing, and the Dee
Rolls black and swollen to the sea;
Yet still by fits that haunted stream
Flickers beneath the moon's pale beam,
Like a face smiling through a dream.
And mine, a stranger's footstep falls
Round my ancestral city's walls,
Beneath the steep sharp--slanted shade
By moonlight from the minster made--
In silence, for no soul is nigh
To brave or love the storm but I.