Mnemosyne

By Trumbull Stickney 1874–1904 Trumbull Stickney
It’s autumn in the country I remember.

How warm a wind blew here about the ways!
And shadows on the hillside lay to slumber
During the long sun-sweetened summer-days.

It’s cold abroad the country I remember.

The swallows veering skimmed the golden grain
At midday with a wing aslant and limber;
And yellow cattle browsed upon the plain.

It’s empty down the country I remember.

I had a sister lovely in my sight:
Her hair was dark, her eyes were very sombre;
We sang together in the woods at night.

It’s lonely in the country I remember.

The babble of our children fills my ears,
And on our hearth I stare the perished ember
To flames that show all starry thro’ my tears.

It’s dark about the country I remember.

There are the mountains where I lived. The path
Is slushed with cattle-tracks and fallen timber,
The stumps are twisted by the tempests’ wrath.

But that I knew these places are my own,
I’d ask how came such wretchedness to cumber
The earth, and I to people it alone.

It rains across the country I remember.

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Poet Trumbull Stickney 1874–1904

Subjects Mythology & Folklore, Death, Fall, Relationships, Nature, Disappointment & Failure, Living, Family & Ancestors

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza, Allusion, Refrain

 Trumbull  Stickney

Biography

Trumbull Stickney is best remembered as a promising young poet and scholar who died before his work could fully mature. As William Payne described his poems in a 1906 review for Dial: "Promise rather than fulfillment is the mark of this work as a whole, for it reveals Stickney as still groping for a distinctive manner rather than as having reached a definitive expression of his powers." A brilliant scholar and enthusiastic poet, . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Mythology & Folklore, Death, Fall, Relationships, Nature, Disappointment & Failure, Living, Family & Ancestors

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza, Allusion, Refrain

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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