Once on an autumn day as I reposed
Beneath a noon-beam, pallid yet not dull,
The branch above my head dipt itself full
Of that white sunshine momently, and closed;
While, ever and anon, the ashen keys
Dropt down beside the tarnish'd hollyhocks,
The scarlet crane's-bill, and the faded stocks,—
Flung from the shuffling leafage by the breeze.
How wistfully I mark'd the year's decay,
Forecasting all the dreary wind and rain;
'Twas the last week the swallow would remain—
How jealously I watch'd his circling play!
A few brief hours, and he would dart away,
No more to turn upon himself again.
Charles Tennyson Turner