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Thomas Cole's poetry

the collected poems of America's foremost painter of the Hudson River School reflecting his feelings for nature and the romantic spirit of the Nineteenth Century

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Written in Autumn

Another year like a frail flower is bound
In time's sere withering aye to cling,
Eternity, thy shadowy temples round,
Like to the musick of a broken string
That ne'er can sound again, 'tis past and gone,
Its dying sweetness dwells within memory alone—
Year after year with silent lapse fleet by;
Each seems more brief than that which went before;
The weeks of youth are years; but manhood's fly
On swifter wings, years seem but weeks, no more—
So glides a river through a thirsty land,
Wastes as it flows till lost amid the Desert sand.
The green of Spring which melts the heart like love
Is faded long ago, the fiercer light
Of hues autumnal, fire the quivering grove,
And rainbow tints array the mountain-height—
A pomp there is, a glory on the hills
And gold and crimson stream reflected from the rills.
But 'tis a dying pomp a gorgeous shroud
T' enwrap the lifeless year—I scarce forgive
The seeming mockery of death; but that aloud
A voice sounds through my soul—“All things live
To die and die to be renewed again,
Therefore we should rejoice at death and not complain.”
Catskill October, 1837