by Emilie Fichter Cadmus

Image: historypin
Image: Essex County Park System via Historypin

To a Chrysanthemum found standing alone in a November garden

Chrysanthemum beloved,
The earth is bare and cold;
The withered leaves are flying,
And rustling in the mold.
The sunbeams pale are glinting
Through the branches bare and wet,
And resting on thy proud, bright head
As a royal coronet.

Over the frosty meadow
Where it slopes to meet the stream,
The birds are piping sadly—
Perhaps of Spring they dream,
When the young leaves dance to music,
Unknown to frost and cold;
But thou no place for sadness hast,
In thy heart of burnished gold.

Queen of the gorgeous Autumn
Fairer than all the flowers
That fling their perfume to the air
Through summer’s sultry hours—
May we in our Autumn season
Far from our spring removed,
Like thee, all-fearless stand and wait,
Chrysanthemum beloved!

Chrysanthemum displays were a popular autumn event in Branch Brook Park during much of the twentieth century.

Typescripts of this and other poems by Emilie Fichter Cadmus are preserved in the New Jersey Historical Society’s collections.

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