Life is a leaf a-hanging on a tree,
Glossy-green at the rising of the sun:
There dew a-dropping sodward into none;
A welcomer of Spring to many a bee.
Then, something sapless happens suddenly;—
The harvest’s past, the boughs are cold and dun;
The chilly Messenger of death has run
The green back to the roots by wintery
Assaults. Then, gravity augments the toll:
Leaves turn a-paling, lifeless, and incline
Earthward—alas! and dive in a free fall,
Withered and dead at last: so is the shine
Of life of man, dimmed out at age or fate,
Once life-full in a luminous estate.