Autumn Fears

Denis MacCarthy

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The weary, dreary, dripping rain,
From morn till night, from night till morn,
Along the hills and o'er the plain,
Strikes down the green and yellow corn;
The flood lies deep upon the ground,
No ripening heat the cold sun yields,
And rank and rotting lies around
The glory of the summer fields!

How full of fears, how racked with pain,
How torn with care the heart must be,
Of him who sees his golden grain
Laid prostrate thus o'er lawn and lea;
For all that nature doth desire,
All that the shivering mortal shields,
The Christmas fare, the winter's fire,
All comes from out the summer fields.

I too have strayed in pleasing toil
Along youth's and fertile meads;
I too within Hope's genial soil
Have, trusting, placed Love's golden seeds;
I too have feared the chilling dew,
The heavy rain when thunder pealed,
Lest Fate might blight the flower that grew
For me in Hope's green summer field.

Ah! who can paint that beauteous flower,
Thus nourished by celestial dew,
Thus growing fairer, hour by hour,
Delighting more, the more it grew;
Bright'ning, not burdening the ground,
Nor proud with inward worth concealed,
But scattering all its fragrance round
Its own sweet sphere, its summer field!

At morn the gentle flower awoke,
And raised its happy face to God;
At evening, when the starlight broke,
It bending sought the dewy sod;
And thus at morn, and thus at even,
In fragrant sighs its heart revealed,
Thus seeking heaven, and making heaven
Within its own sweet summer field!

Oh! joy beyond all human joy!
Oh! bliss beyond all earthly bliss!
If pitying Fate will not destroy
My hopes of such a flower as this!
How happy, fond, and heaven-possest,
My heart will be to tend and shield,
And guard upon my grateful breast
The pride of that sweet summer field!

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