Autumn-by James Farrar
Brave roadside ragwort scurried under wind.
The mad meadow grass where mildewed agony
Spews forth crows like ghouls
Clanking the hedge-eddies with fingered spread.
The hedge-dank leaf-fouled lane before me falls
To a dead distance of hills and sky.
Struggle under the writhing wood which a mile back
Roared like a sea. The lustful air,
Harvesting shoals of jaundice from frenzied oak,
Plucks vainly at the slow arc-tracing pines.
Stand in a devil-darkness of leaves and smoke,
Shin-deep. Wild branches scream despair
At the full thunder of the drowning ye
A caravan comes up the lane: old horse cringing
Like a tired insect in its slow grief.
Bleached painted sides, lean leathern gypsy driving:
Old woman and blind son with bitter mouths curled.
Yet the lean one turns with lit face; his voice peal
‘Bound away north. Back in spring, in spring!’
Thralled I watch them away under the hills
In the tunnel of darkness, the dying world.
Break fibre, raise and fly leaf!
Rise, in the wind’s lusting mouth sing –
Soar and shout, to the faint stars away!
I care not that night comes cold or the dead sun
Droops on the earth in the short weak day –
Back in Spring, in Spring!