The Death of Autumn

WHEN reeds are dead and straw to thatch the marshes,
And feathered pampas-grass rides into the wind
Like Agèd warriors westward, tragic, thinned
Of half their tribe; an over the flattened rushes,
Stripped of its secret, open, stark and bleak,
Blackens afar the half-forgotten creek,–
Then leans on me the weight of the year, and crushes
My heart. I know that beauty must ail and die,
And will be born again, –but ah, to see
Beauty stiffened, staring up at the sky!
Oh, Autumn! Autumn! –What is the Spring to me?

Edna St. Vincent Millay

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