1. Hail, ye sighing sons of sorrow,
View with me th’ autumnal gloom,
Learn from thence your fate tomorrow;
Dead perhaps, laid in the tomb.
See all nature fading, dying,
Silent, all things seem to mourn,
Life, from vegetation flying,
Brings to mind the mould’ring urn.
2. Oft when autumn’s tempest rising
Makes the lofty forest nod,
Scenes of nature how surprising:
Read in nature nature’s God.
See, the sov’reign, sole Creator
Lives eternal in the skies,
Whilst we mortals yield to nature,
Bloom awhile, then fade and die.
3. Lo! I hear the air resounding,
With expiring insects’ cries;
Ah! their moans to me how wounding,
Emblems of my age and sighs.
Hollow winds around me roaring,
Noisy waters round me rise,
Whilst I sit my fate deploring,
Tears fast streaming from my eyes.
4. What to me is autumn’s treasure,
Since I know no earthly joy?
Long I’ve lost all youthful pleasure,
Time must youth and health destroy.
Pleasures once I fondly courted,
Shared each bliss that health bestows,
But to see where then I sported
Now embitters all my woes.
5. Age and sorrow since have blasted
Ev’ry youthful, pleasing dream;
Quiv’ring age with youth contrasted,
O, how short their glories seem!
As the annual frosts are cropping
Leaves and tendrils from the trees,
So my friends are yearly dropping,
Through old age and dire disease.
6. Former friends, O, how I’ve sought them!
Just to cheer my drooping mind;
But they’re gone like leaves in autumn,
Driv’n before a dreary wind.
Spring and summer, fall and winter,
Each in swift succession roll,
So my friends in death do enter,
Bringing sadness to my soul.
7. Death has laid them down to slumber;
Solemn thought, to think that I
Soon must be one of that number!
Soon — ah, soon, with them to lie!
When a few more years are wasted,
When a few more scenes are o’er,
When a few more griefs are tasted,
I shall fall to rise no more.
8. Fast my sun of life declining,
Soon will set in endless night:
But my hope, pure and refining,
Rests in future life and light.
Cease this fearing, trembling, sighing,
Death will break the sudden gloom;
Soon my spirit, flutt’ring, flying,
Must be borne beyond the tomb.