chrysanthemum

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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two elegies for summer

SEPTEMBER

by Emilie Fichter Cadmus

Summer is dying—in the long wet grass
The filmy cobwebs lay:
Time is flying—for the cricket chirped
At the close of the shortening day.
Summer is dying—there’s an Autumn haze
Beyond the sun’s bright sheen;
The wind is sighing—‘tis the voice of Death
That speaks through the waving green.

 

DEATH OF SUMMER

by George Bancroft Duren

Shadows are lengthening across the sky,
And trees have doffed their frocks of youthful green
For robes of richer hue, while in between
The clustered stars an opal moon gleams high
Above the woods where sleeping violets lie
Tucked in their leafy beds; the winds are keen
With earthy smells, and everywhere are seen
The last gifts of a summer soon to die.

Death! Yet how unlike other ends this one.
With tenderness old summer decks each tree
In brightest raiment, and with fragrant breath,
Whispering softly that her life is done,
She gently falls asleep: we hardly see
That she has gone, so beautiful her death.

wading
Image: New Jersey State Library

Manuscripts of verses by Emilie Fichter Cadmus and her daughter Mildred Cadmus Childs are preserved in the collections of the New Jersey Historical Society.

The sonnet by Newark Evening News editor George Bancroft Duren was included in his 1921 collection Written in Sand.