Dancing Dust

Poems by Mollie Caird (1922-2000)

Autumn Cheer

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How sadly poets talk of waning days,
Lament lost glories of the summer past:
Poor autumn, nature’s penitential fast,
They wrap in mellow browns and muted greys,
Shroud it in smoke and mist and milky haze
That clings about the river while the last
Swallows fly south and weary willows cast
Their withered clothes.  Come, autumn, make a blaze!
Now conkers garnet-red upon the street
Wink in the shuffled leaves where scuffing feet
Of children run to welcome Hallowe’en
With turnip-lanterns; then Guy Fawkes is seen
Throned afire, while rockets fiercely bright
Turn lenten autumn to a feast of light.

Oxford Times, 1 November 1963
The Dancing Dust and other poems, 1983