A Brown Song


The brown leaves fall in umber woods,

The trees shake off their gowns;

And all the hues of summer’s moods

Are mellowing to browns;

And all the gleams of passion die

Into a russet evening sky.


The sea is dun, the cliffs are dark,

The shore is sepia sand;

The fingers of the autumn mark

Their legend on the land.

And all my summer zeal and zest

I store for winter in my breast.


The sheaves are browning in the stooks,

The fields are shorn and bare;

The clouds are smudged with homing rooks,

And wood-smoke stains the air.

Now all my thoughts come back to sleep

As round and brown as folded sheep.