The Last Days
By George Sterling
The russet leaves of the sycamore Lie at last on the valley floor— By the autumn wind swept to and fro Like ghosts in a tale of long ago. Shallow and clear the Carmel glides Where the willows droop on its vine-walled sides. The bracken rust is red on the hill; The pines stand brooding, somber and still; Gray are the cliffs, and the waters gray, Where the sea-gulls dip to the sea-born spray. Sad November, lady of rain, Sends the goose-wedge over again. Wilder now, for the verdure's birth, Falls the sunlight over the earth; Kildees call from the fields where now The banding blackbirds follow the plow; Rustling poplar and brittle weed Whisper low to the river-reed. Days departing linger and sigh: Stars come soon to the quiet sky; Buried voices, intimate, strange, Cry to body and soul of change; Beauty, eternal fugitive, Seeks the home that we cannot give.
Originally titled, "By Carmel Mission"