Chance draws my eyes up from the page;
My soul catches its breath.
Just opposite my sitting place:
A great broad-shouldered tree
(A lord of trees as one may say),
Its mane in full display
Of red-gold autumn death.
The setting sun's last slanting ray
Sets off each glowing leaf,
Their edges so revealed to me,
I know them, deep and true.
How I should like to risk a snap
(Had I my camera now),
Keep that elusive hue.
But though I ran to fetch it, I
Could not return in time:
This moment will not wait (the light
Will never be the same).
And so I stand and let it blaze
Through me, and out behind,
And fade into the dusk.
Moreover, what would be the use
Of such an autumn snap?
To keep this instant? Or to gloat?
Perhaps to share (though who
Would care I do not know)?
At best, I guess, to linger on
The glories that have passed.
No, rather I shall stand as still
As wind and blood allow,
And feast my eyes, and toast my heart,
And burn this moment now.
And though the gloaming shadows claim
That gleam, and mind forget,
I will not be the same.