Two things I did on Hallows Night:— Made my house April-clear; Left open wide my door To the ghosts of the year. Then one came in. Across the room It stood up long and fair— The ghost that was myself— And gave me stare for stare.
No wind, no bird. The river flames like brass.
On either side, smitten as with a spell
Of silence, brood the fields. In the deep grass,
Edging the dusty roads, lie as they fell
Handfuls of shriveled leaves from tree and bush.
But ’long the orchard fence and at the gate,
Thrusting their saffron torches through the hush,
Wild lilies blaze, and bees hum soon and late.
Rust-colored the tall straggling briar, not one
Rose left. The spider sets its loom up there
Close to the roots, and spins out in the sun
A silken web from twig to twig. The air
Is full of hot rank scents. Upon the hill
Drifts the noon’s single cloud, white, glaring, still.
Lizette Woodworth Reese
Lizette Woodworth Reese was born in Maryland in 1856. She was named poet laureate of Maryland in 1931. Her books include A Branch of May (1887) and A Wayside Lute (1909). Reese died in 1935.