With a look and a laugh where the stream was flowing,
September led me along the land;
Where the golden-rod and lobelia, glowing,
Seemed burning torches within her hand.
And faint as the thistle’s or milk-weed’s feather
I glimpsed her form through the sparkling weather.
Now ’twas her hand and now her hair
That tossed me welcome everywhere;
That lured me onward through the stately rooms
Of forest, hung and carpeted with glooms,
And windowed wide with azure, doored with green,
Through which rich glimmers of her robe were seen
Now, like some deep marsh-mallow, rosy gold;
Now, like the great Joe-Pye-weed, fold on fold
Of heavy mauve; and now, like the intense
Massed iron-weed, a purple opulence.
Along the bank in a wild procession
Of gold and sapphire the blossoms blew;
And borne on the breeze came their soft confession
In syllables musk of honey and dew;
In words unheard that their lips kept saying,
Sweet as the lips of children praying.
And so, meseemed, I heard them tell
How here her loving glance once fell
Upon this bank, and from its azure grew
The ageratum mist-flower’s happy hue;
How from her kiss, as crimson as the dawn,
The cardinal-flow’r drew its vermilion;
And from her hair’s blond touch th’ elecampane
Evolved the glory of its golden rain;
While from her starry footsteps, redolent,
The aster pearled its flowery firmament.