The trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones
Are nine-and-fifty swans.
The nineteenth autumn has come upon me
Since I first made my count;
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous wings.
I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
And now my heart is sore.
All’s changed since I, hearing at twilight,
The first time on this shore,
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread.
Unwearied still, lover by lover,
They paddle in the cold
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still.
But now they drift on the still water,
Among what rushes will they build,
By what lake’s edge or pool
Delight men’s eyes when I awake some day
To find they have flown away?
"The Wild Swans at Coole" by William Butler Yeats. Born in 1865, W.B. Yeats became a prominent Irish poet in 20th century literature. Yeats was fascinated by poetry from an early age, and his first volume of verse was published in 1889 when he was 24. In 1923 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.1
Symphony No. 10 "To Autumn Time" by Joseph Joachim Raff. Born in 1822, Raff was a German-Swiss composer and pianist. Largely self-taught, Raff’s piano compositions were first published in 1844 to favorable reviews. Though Raff has been largely forgotten today, he was one of the most well-known and prolific German composers during his lifetime.2
Alisa Williams is Spirituality Editor at SpectrumMagazine.org.
Photo Credit: Paolo Gadler / FreeImages.com
If you respond to this article, please:
Make sure your comments are germane to the topic; be concise in your reply; demonstrate respect for people and ideas whether you agree or disagree with them; and limit yourself to one comment per article, unless the author of the article directly engages you in further conversation. Comments that meet these criteria are welcome on the Spectrum Website. Comments that fail to meet these criteria will be removed.