The bright-robed Days sit now at feast, and sup
From golden service heaped with fruits divine.
The waning Year drains from October's cup
The melancholy cheer of Autumn's wine.
A ruddier tide fills now the tingling veins
And life takes on a sturdier-hearted tone.
Care's hungering grasp the mounting soul disdains.
And scorns to count the sorrows she hath known:
What matters it if Summer's birds have flown,
And rustling leaves drift on the upland plains?
Though Nature's wide arms bear her precious grains
To fragrant hidden garners of her own,
Yet what her lavish lap hath spilled, remains,
For careful gleaning is to her unknown.
From her full hand her ripened seeds are thrown
On springing fields late-freshened from the rains,
And Hope's clear bugle on the hills is blown
By comely lips made moist with fruity-stains.
Shall we be found less generous to our souls
Than are the Seasons to the patient Earth?—
Shall we yet choose to drift in mental shoals
Where weak-winged fancies only find a birth?
Shall we be found more niggard of our store
Than are the flame-crowned princes of the wood,
While at our heart's inhospitable door
A brother faints for some withholden good?
The richest gifts of Nature kept unshared
Become but poverty: goods unbestowed,
Like fruits ungathered, shrivel into blight,
Which mars the soul's new blossoming; the road
Of excellence was by some god prepared,
So that no souls might win the glorious height
Save those unweighted by that hindering load.
Robert Burns Wilson