Wednesday, November 13, 2013
An Autumn Serenade
Before the tears of autumn shedNotes to myself:
All leaves away at winter's door,
My queen, across the foliage tread
Of yellow gusty woodland floor;
And watch the squirrel overhead 5
In stories of her pine-trees hoar.
When only redbreast chirps thee on,
And fingered chestnut leaves are cast;
And gaudy greenwood gathers wan
On lime and beech, and sickens fast; 10
And acorns thicken paths upon,
And shrew-mice treasure winter mast.
When plovers tremble up to cloud,
And starling legions whirl apace;
And redwing nations restless-loud 15
Are over every fallow's face;
And barren branches like a shroud
Blacken the sun-way's interspace.
The winds, all summer idly dead,
Give prelude to their winter tune. 20
Grey hoar-frost hears them, from his bed
Lays out white hands, and wakens soon.
He laughs as soughing elm-trees shed
Old homes of breeding rooks in June.
3 My queen: parse as vocative
3, 5 tread...watch: parse as imperatives
6 stories: plural of storey, not story
7 chirps thee on: the Oxford English Dictionary recognizes that chirp may be transitive (sense 2.b "To greet or incite by chirping") but gives no examples
8 gather: none of the intransitive meanings in the Oxford English Dictionary really seem to fit, except perhaps "To contract, to grow narrower" (sense 20.a) or "To form folds or wrinkles" (sense 20.b)
11 upon: postponed preposition, whose object is paths
16 fallow: parse as a noun