Autumn Song


Autumn clouds are flying, flying,
O’er the waste of blue.
Summer flowers are dying, dying,
Late so lovely new.
Laboring trains are slowly rolling
Home with winter grain;
Holy bells are slowly toiling
Over buried men.

Goldener lights set noon asleeping
Like an afternoon;
Colder airs come stealing, creeping
After sun and moon;
And the leaves all tired of blowing,
Cloud-like o’er the sun,
Change to sunset colors, knowing
That their day is done.

Autumn’s sun is sinking, sinking
Into winter’s night;
And our hearts are thinking, thinking
Of the cold and blight.
Our life’s sun is slowly going.
Down the hill of night;
Will our clouds shine golden-glowing
On the slope of night.

But the vanished corn is lying
In rich golden glooms.
In the churchyard all the sighing
Is above the tombs.
Spring will come, slow-lingering
Opening buds of faith.
Man goes forth to meet his spring
Through the door of death.


So we love with no less loving,
Hair that turns to gray ;
Or a step less lightly moving,
In life’s autumn day.
And if thought, still-brooding, lingers
O’er each bygone thing,
‘Tis because old autumn’s fingers
Paint in hues of spring.

Autumn Song by George MacDonald

: : from the archives, first published October 24, 2009