The Fall of the Year

By George Sterling

It is that season when the soul must know
    The challenge of Transition, she who lays
        On the reluctant days
The burden of departure and its woe.

And all spring sowed in ecstasy and tears
    Reaps autumn now with sorrow and a smile.
        The world's heart rests awhile,
Yet knows the mournful music of the years.

The myriad wings beat south, the myriad flow'rs
    Have said farewell to sun and rain and wind;
        Here sense and spirit find
That change alone has empire of the hours.

Nay, tho the gaze turn backward at the gate,
    The going-forth is certain.  In each breast
        What mutinies attest
The ceaseless march of all things to their fate!

Unto what Land, on what dim road compelled,
    Depart, unlingering, the bidden feet?
        What memories repeat
That life is exile and a home withheld?

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