Autumn in Carmel

By George Sterling

Now with a sigh November comes to the brooding land.
Yellowing now toward winter the willows of Carmel stand.
Under the pine her needles lie redder with the rain.
Gipsy birds from the northland visit our woods again.

Hunters wait on the hillside, watching the plowman pass
And the red hawk's shadow gliding over the new-born grass.
Purple and white the sea-gulls swarm at the river-mouth.
Pearl of mutable heavens towers upon the south.

Westward pine and cypress stand in a sadder light.
Flocks of the veering curlew flash for an instant white.
Wreaths of the mallard, shifting, melt on the vacant blue.
Over the hard horizon dreams are calling anew.

Dumb with the sense of wonder hidden from hand and eye,—
Wistful yet for the Secret ocean and earth deny —
Baffled for Beauty's haunting, hearts are peaceless today,
Seeing the dusk of sapphire deepen within the bay.

Far on the kelp the heron stands for awhile at rest.
The lichen-colored breaker hollows a leaning breast.
Desolate, hard and tawny, the sands lie clean and wide,
Dry with the wafted sea-wind, wet with the fallen tide.

Early the autumn sunset tinges to mauve the foam;
Shyly the rabbit, feeding, crosses the road to home.'
Daylight, lingering golden, touches the tallest tree,
Ere the rain, like silver harp-strings, comes slanting in from sea.

Originally titled "Memories"

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