Pear Trees II: Nothing Gold Can Last

Here the leaves were left to stay
in shimmers underneath the trees.
In mounds of gold brighter than day
their autumn simmers on its way
to winter’s gray finality.

The poet: “Nothing gold can stay,”
and now I see the leaves face down.
But all their stems reach up stick straight
like small arms raised and pleading “Wait!”—
a last protest before they brown.

I think in those leaves I see me
and in their autumn is a truth:
that time can be conspiracy,
a friend and sometimes enemy
along the winding road from youth.

I join them begging time to pause
so we can bathe in the glory
a moment more—defy the laws
of nature, winter’s waiting jaws,
and let the shimmer be the story.


Robert Frost, “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” 1923.



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