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Release date: August 22, 2023
Original publication: New York: Frederick Fairchild Sherman, 1917
ELEGY IN AUTUMN
IN MEMORY OF FRANK DEMPSTER SHERMAN
BY CLINTON SCOLLARD
ELEGY IN AUTUMN
Brother in song, you who have gone before Along far incommunicable ways, Leaving me here upon this mortal shore, A bondman to the tyrant nights and days, Across the distance, hail! Though Time may sever, and we meet no more, Yet what shall Time avail!
'Twas Autumn when we first set hand to hand, And eye to eye, in loyal comradeship; Drowsed with a draught of Beauty seemed the land, As it had raised a golden cup to lip; But you embodied Spring, Its harvest hopes, its deeds in joyance planned, Its brave adventuring.
I can recall your buoyance,--can recall The star-sown hours beneath the Cambridge trees, When o'er us wheeled the bright processional Of bold Orion and the Pleiades, And how we strolled along Laughterful, and oblivious to all Save the sweet thrall of Song.
Youth has its visions and its fervors; yours Were lovingly enlinked with Poesy; You dreamed the dream that many an one allures, The vernal dream where life is harmony. And though the years estranged Your full allegiance, something still assures My heart you never changed.
What merriment was ours those shut-in nights When Winter, clamorous at the casement, cried! What dear association, what delights As we in friendly emulation vied, While Aspiration's cruse Was brimmed for us, beholding on dim heights The presence of the Muse!
And then there opened wider paths to tread When Love, with Song, beguiled you on and on, While Art around your feet unfaltering shed Its luminous light, irradiant as the dawn; Though you saw many part From deities long worshipped, you were wed Inalienably to Art.
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