Under The October Maples

by James Russell Lowell

James Russell Lowell, American Romantic poet, was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts on February 22, 1819, and died on August 12, 1891. He is considered a Fireside Poet, or part of a group of New England authors that wrote material very suitable to be read as entertainment to members of a family, often read aloud in front of a residential fireplace.

 

What mean these banners spread, 
These paths with royal red 
So gaily carpeted? 
Comes there a prince to-day? 
Such footing were too fine 
For feet less argentine 
Than Dian's own or thine, 
Queen whom my tides obey.

Surely for thee are meant 
These hues so orient 
That with a sultan's tent 
Each tree invites the sun; 
Our Earth such homage pays, 
So decks her dusty ways, 
And keeps such holidays, 
For one and only one.

My brain shapes form and face, 
Throbs with the rhythmic grace 
And cadence of her pace 
To all fine instincts true; 
Her footsteps, as they pass, 
Than moonbeams over grass 
Fall lighter, — but, alas, 
More insubstantial too!

 

— The Complete Poetical Works of James Russell Lowell (1882)

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