Thomas Hicks (1823-1890)
The subtle signs are here already for those of us who fear the cold.
In the morning the white ghosts of drowned summer heat rise like smoke above the river.
A flutter of suicidal leaves lays as litter on the lawn, brown in their brittle impatience, foresworn by haste from the bright banners of the final battle.
Light fades too early. Uncertain shadows, once sharp-edged as a polished sword, crouch and quiver, before and behind us, in the amber gold of afternoon.
And the wind moves like a furtive beast, without scent, without voice,
a silent sentinel of summer's end.
I sit amid the mocking green,
waiting for the leaves to turn and fall.
A lament for sweet summer gone.