Image from American Gallery – Miles Jefferson Early




Leaps October from the ashes dead
Of the radiant, glowing-souled September!
Now the sun burns in the heavens red,
Like an angry eye or a far ember.

To the sky the giant groves of oak
Arms of dull bronze, acorn-hung, are raising;
Poplars all are dimly white, like smoke;
All the sumach’s minarets are blazing.

Ripe nuts hang upon the bending trees,
Like the pendant heads on lily-anthers.
Squirrels, springing, shake them like a breeze —
Squirrels black or tawny, lithe as panthers.

Deer look into wild eyes as they drink —
Eyes all dark and soft and clear with wonder;
Wrinkled waters make the rushes shrink,
Break their shadowed lengths of green asunder.

Crickets clang their black metallic wings,
Drowning insect pipings shrill and slender;
Tardy bees, begirt with golden rings,
Hum around the garden’s faded splendor.

All the year’s sweet heats and rain have fled;
All its days are sad; and changed and sober
All its golden glow, its burning red,
As it wanes towards winter through October.

The Grand Traverse Herald (Traverse City, Michigan) Oct 8, 1868

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