An Autumn Ride

Poem By Radclyffe Hall

Malvern


The world 's a beautiful world to-day,
A flame of gold and a dusk of gray,

Where Autumn leaves toss their gaudy crests
O'er still deep lanes, where the twilight rests.

Just overhead as I ride along
A hopeful thrush charms his thought to song,

And all that 's joyous within me springs
To meet the promise of which he sings.

Away to Heaven the melting view
Is soft with raptures of endless blue;

The trees and meadows, the hills and plains,
Like music woven of countless strains

Submerge, entwine, till the eye can see
No shade that is not a harmony.

As part of nature's most perfect whole
Each humble object conceives a soul,

No tiny flower in the distance lost,
But gives its colour, nor counts the cost ;

No drop of dew, but its feeble ray
An atom cast in the pearly gray

Is shining there, unperceived, content,
A dim star set in earth's firmament.

My horse treads gently, and makes scarce sound,
His hoofs sink deep in the marshy ground,

Yet 'neath the touch of my curbing rein
I feel the youth in his veins complain,

He lifts his head, and his eager eyes
Gaze far away where the moorland lies,

He whinnies often, as though to say
I would be free on this perfect day !

He too is filled with a happiness
His dumb soul treasures but can't express,

And in that gladness of wind and sun
I know my beast and myself are one.

The way is lonely, no passer by
Disturbs the stillness, my horse and l

Possess the earth, and the rippling air
Divine elixir to banish care

Has brought new strength to my heart and mind,
And swept all sorrowful things behind.

Oh ! Joy of living when youth is ours!
Oh ! Earth my Mother, thy fragrant bowers

Could they be fairer if Angels trod
Beneath their trees at the will of God?

Could fabled Heaven e'er compensate
For one such day, when the year is late,

And all the Summer has come to dwell
In long warm moments of dim farewell?

When skies are pale with the tears that bless
The soil, in falling for happiness?

And winds are fragrant with scent that flows
From out the bosom of some lone rose?

And brooks are drowsy with dusty gleams,
And languid thoughts of their winter dreams?

The fields are vital, and nude, and gray
With future promise of fruitful clay?

Ah ! no, my being could not believe,
My heart desire, nor my soul conceive,

A world more perfect, more dear, more true,
Than this fair Eden I'm riding through.

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'Over the roses into the sky.'
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And some days purple-blue,
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To-day I heard the cuckoo call.
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I heard him near the blackthorn bush,
And Oh ! my heart stood still !

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Come, put yer little hand in mine.
And let it be at rest.
It minds me of a tired bird
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I MIND me of the hawthorn trees,
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The hawthorn blossoms smelt so sweet,
The cuckoo called so clear !