Go, sit upon the lofty hill, And turn your eyes around, Where waving woods and waters wild Do hymn an autumn sound. The summer sun is faint on them -- The summer flowers depart -- Sit still -- as all transform'd to stone, Except your musing heart.
How there you sat in summer-time, May yet be in your mind; And how you heard the green woods sing Beneath the freshening wind. Though the same wind now blows around, You would its blast recall; For every breath that stirs the trees, Doth cause a leaf to fall.
Oh! like that wind, is all the mirth That flesh and dust impart: We cannot bear its visitings, When change is on the heart. Gay words and jests may make us smile, When Sorrow is asleep; But other things must make us smile, When Sorrow bids us weep!
The dearest hands that clasp our hands, -- Their presence may be o'er; The dearest voice that meets our ear, That tone may come no more! Youth fades; and then, the joys of youth, Which once refresh'd our mind, Shall come -- as, on those sighing woods, The chilling autumn wind.
Hear not the wind -- view not the woods; Look out o'er vale and hill- In spring, the sky encircled them -- The sky is round them still. Come autumn's scathe -- come winter's cold -- Come change -- and human fate! Whatever prospect Heaven doth bound, Can ne'er be desolate.