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.