Arches half fill'd with wither'd leaves appear,
Where white foam stills the billow boiling through.
Those yellow leaves that litter on the grass,
'Mong dry brown stalks that lately blossom'd there,
Instil a mournful pleasure as they pass:
For melancholy has its joy to spare—
A joy that dwells in autumn's lonely walks,
And whispers, like a vision, what shall be,
How flowers shall blossom on those wither'd stalks,
And green leaves clothe each nearly naked tree.
Oft in the woods I hear the thundering gun;
And, through the brambles as I cautious creep,
A bustling hare, the threatening sound to shun,
Oft skips the pathway in a fearful leap;
And spangled pheasant, scared from stumpy bush,
Oft blunders rustling through the yellow boughs;
While farther off, from beds of reed and rush,
The startled woodcock leaves its silent sloughs.