I heard a voice, that cried,
"Balder the Beautiful
Is dead, is dead!"
And through the misty air
Passed like the mournful cry
Of sunward sailing cranes.

I saw the pallid corpse
Of the dead sun
Borne through the Northern sky.
Blasts from Niffelheim
Lifted the sheeted mists
Around him as he passed.

And the voice forever cried,
"Balder the Beautiful
Is dead, is dead!"
And died away
Through the dreary night,
In accents of despair.

- Tegner's Drapa, Longfellow

There's something about this time of year, when the leaves and the rain are falling, that is full of grief. It is a beautiful, soft grief, that usually results in me digging through my piles of books and cds for my "Complete Longfellow" and a very scratched recording of Beethoven's 14th Sonata. Go find a quiet place out of the wind and listen to Beethoven and watch the leaves. This is autumn at its best.

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