Leaves

The leaves are falling one and one,
Each like a life to me,
As over-soonly in the sun
They spiral goldenly:
So airily and warily
They falter free.

The leaves are falling two and two,
Beneath a baleful sky;
So silently the sward they strew,
Reluctantly they die . . .
Rich crimson leaves,--and no one grieves
There doom but I.

The leaves are falling three and three
Beneath the mothlike moon;
They flutter downward silverly
In muted rigadoon;
And russet dry remote they lie
From feathered tune.

The leaves are lying numberless,
Disconsolately dead;
Where lucent was their sylvan dress
And lightsome was their tread,
They rot below the bitter snow,
Uncomforted.

A leaf's a life, and one by one
They drift each darkling day;
Rare friends who lusted in the sun
Are frailing fast away . . .
How sadly soon will mourn the moon
My dark decay!

by Robert William Service

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