Early Autumn

Don Marquis

With half-hearted levies of frost that make foray,
    retire, and refrain—
Ambiguous bugles that blow and that falter to
    silence again—

With banners of mist that still waver above them,
    advance and retreat,
The hosts of the Autumn still hide in the hills,
    for a doubt stays their feet;—

But anon, with a barbaric splendor to dazzle the
    eyes that behold,
And regal in raiment of purple and umber and
    amber and gold,

And girt with the glamor of conquest and scarved
    with red symbols of pride,
From the hills in their might and their mirth on
    the steeds of the wind will they ride,

To make sport and make spoil of the Summer,
    who dwells in a dream on the plain,
Still tented in opulent ease in the camps of her
    indolent train.

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