The year slows down. The swallows go,
Leaving our valley far below
Floating in mist. Nests in the eaves
Are empty, the gutters choked with leaves.
There are berries on the bryony,
The hawthorn and the rowan-tree;
The squirrel now forgets to swing,
The fieldmouse stops his scampering,
Searching in every hole and rut
For beechmast, acorn, hazelnut.
Even the butterflies are slow
In their brown wanderings to and fro …
And later, frosts will come, to take
The rings and ripples from the lake
And lend her, as those wrinkles pass,
The smooth transparency of glass.