By George Sterling

Where needles of the pine were strewn,
    I lay one autumn night at ease,
And saw the slowly rising moon,
    A golden thistle through the trees.

And there a stream departing broke
    The forest-silence grave and deep,
In murmurs like a wind that woke,
    Or children restless in their sleep.

The year's first sigh was on the air,
    And acquiescent to its grief,
My heart seemed sad enough to spare
    Regret for every fallen leaf.

Ah! soft my mood and meet for tears,
    As wanton Nature in her whim
Made Earth a sister to the spheres
    And garden of the seraphim.

And then, the soundless waft of wings!
    And on a barren branch, above,
An owl, the gnome of feathered things,
    Broke at a glance my dream of love.

Poor thrush that sang as daylight fled!
    So songless now, so mutely meek!
Lo! the squat fury bent his head,
    And tore her breast with avid beak!

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