Smith, Of The Third Oregon, Dies
Autumn in Oregon is wet as Spring,
And green, with little singings in the grass,
And pheasants flying,
Gold, green and red,
Great, narrow, lovely things,
As if an orchid had snatched wings.
There are strange birds like blots against a sky
Where a sun is dying.
Beyond the river where the hills are blurred
A cloud, like the one word
Of the too-silent sky, stirs, and there stand
Black trees on either hand.
Autumn in Oregon is wet and new
And puts a fever like Spring’s in the cheek
That once has touched her dew—
And it puts longing too
In eyes that once have seen
Her season-flouting green,
And ears that listened to her strange birds speak.
Autumn in Oregon—I’ll never see
Those hills again, a blur of blue and rain
Across the old Willamette. I’ll not stir
A pheasant as I walk, and hear it whirr
Above my head, an indolent, trusting thing.
When all this silly dream is finished here,
The fellows will go home to where there fall
Rose-petals over every street, and all
The year is like a friendly festival.
But I shall never watch those hedges drip
Color, not see the tall spar of a ship
In our old harbor.— They say that I am dying,
Perhaps that’s why it all comes back again:
Autumn in Oregon and pheasants flying—