That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin’d choirs where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see’st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west;
Which by and by black night doeth take away
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed, whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourished by.
This thou perciev’st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well, which thou must leave ere long.
Shakespeare, of course, was meditating on death (at age 36!) but to me the images of boughs shaking in the cold, ruin’d choirs, and fading sunset are literally the images of the coming of winter. My ruined choirs are not the ruins of dissolved churches and monasteries, but the bare trees bereft of the songbirds who have all flown to more salubrious climes. In every season, I love the fields, woods and skies of our little town of Heath, and hope not to leave ere long.
More Muse Day postings at Sweet Home and Garden Chicago.