I have seen the pageantry of the leaves falling­—
Their sere, brown frames descending brokenly,
Like old men lying down to rest.
I have heard the whisperings of the winds calling—
The young winds—playing with the old men­—
Playing with them, as the sun flows west.
And I have seen the pomp of this earth naked­—
The brown fields standing cold and resolute,
Like strong men waiting for the end.
Then have come the sudden gusts of winds awaked:
The broken pageantry, the leaves upflailed, the trees
Tremor-stricken, the giant branches rent.
And a shiver runs over the remnants of the brown grass—
And there is cessation....
The processional recurs.
I have seen the pageantry.
I have seen the haggard leaves falling.
One by one falling.


Listen to this poem set to music by Robert Cohen.