Through the pungent hours of the afternoon,
On the autumn slopes we have lightly wandered
Where the sunshine lay in a golden swoon
And the lingering year all its sweetness squandered.
Oh, it was blithesome to roam at will
Over the crest of each westering hill,
Over those dreamy, enchanted lands
Where the trees held to us their friendly hands!
Winds in the pine boughs softly crooned,
Or in the grasses complained most sweetly,
With all the music of earth attuned
In this dear ripe time that must pass so fleetly:
Golden rod as we idled by
Held its torches of flame on high,
And the asters beckoned along our way
Like fair fine ladies in silk array.
We passed by woods where the day aside
Knelt like a pensive nun and tender,
We looked on valleys of purple pride
Where she reigned a queen in her misty splendor;
But out on the hills she was wild and free,
A comrade to wander right gipsily,
Luring us on over waste and wold
With the charm of a message half sung, half told,
And now, when far in the shining west
She has dropped her flowers on the sunset meadow,
We turn away from our witching quest
To the kindly starshine and gathering shadow;
Filled to the lips of our souls are we
With the beauty given so lavishly,
And hand in hand with the night we come
Back to the light and the hearth of home.