Bare Boughs, by Madison Cawein
O heart,—that beat the bird's blithe blood,
The blithe bird's strain, and understood
The song it sang to leaf and bud,—
What dost thou in the wood?
O soul,—that kept the brook's glad flow,
The glad brook's word to sun and moon,—
What dost thou here where song lies low,
And dead the dreams of June?
Where once was heard a voice of song,
The hautboys of the mad winds sing;
Where once a music flowed along,
The rain's wild bugle's ring.
The weedy water frets and ails,
And moans in many a sunless fall;
And, o'er the melancholy, trails
The black crow's eldritch call.
Unhappy brook! O withered wood!
O days, whom Death makes comrades of!
Where are the birds that thrilled the blood
When Life struck hands with Love?
A song, one soared against the blue;
A song, one silvered in the leaves;
A song, one blew where orchards grew
Gold-appled to the eaves.
The birds are flown; the flowers, dead;
And sky and earth are bleak and gray:
Where Joy once went, all light of tread,
Grief haunts the leaf-wild way.