Wednesday, September 27, 2017

A Sweeter Grace than Youth

Autumn Sonnet to My Mother
by Laurence Gifford Holland


And comest thou to claim the dues of years
The tribute of the leaves—the debt of tears;
And comest thou again, old hallowed friend
Bound by the past, yet beckoning to the end,
Bound by the ties of life's serenest hours,
Bound by the sweet remembrance of dead flowers,
Once more to chant thy dirge, so old, so true,
Of little done, and fewer left to do!
Ah! comest thou indeed! So swift—so soon,
Tinged with the golden flush of summer's noon:
Yet on one brow thy deepening rays bestow
A sweeter grace than youth: a brighter glow,
Born of our first affection's holy dawn,
Points to a home by autumn nearer drawn.

From the fresh Spring of hope we wake to know
That love hath had another year to flow;
Yet should we sigh to find said Time unfold
The wasted moments, when our hearts seemed cold
Nay! for though Autumn comes again, 'twill rear
The seed of deeper love—too deep to blossom here.
November, 1873.

Strictly speaking, a caudate sonnet (consisting of a sonnet proper plus a coda). It's relatively unusual to find a caudate sonnet that's not satirical, though.

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