DOWN WELL-KNOWN PATHS
Oh, how each footstep with lead seems hung,
when the path must be trod till it’s ended;
Light was each step, so twenty-years young,
when it led towards days that were splendid.
A small bird as we passed
was so busily singing
its song of love;
in each beech there was swinging
and playing above, —
songs and games did not last.
Only pine trees now soughing have voice at all,
and its sound’s that of water when rough;
soon autumn will call.
Dearest one! ah, the double-edged plea
that clashes in this strange calling:
Songbirds’ gay laughter from corn-hued lea
and woodland streams’ sad-sobbing falling!
Now the summer is gone
there’s but autumn remaining,
and autumn’s stalled;
merely day’s image waning
with solace now palled,
a picture whose features once shone.
And I press the wan leaf to my lips with a sigh.
Double urges still clash when recalled
at the hour of goodbye.
No, as lamenter I’ll not say adieu,
since all has been laid out quite surely;
nor will I tread paths of autumn hue,
when star-paths lie here before me.
There’s a force in the air
which as pine needles’ resin
my mind sets on fire;
and the autumn’s rays dress in
a rainbow attire,
each flower has a scent twice as rare.
Let the spring remain silent; a seed time is nigh.
All my heart’s songs will never expire:
they refuse to die.