Lament for Summer by Nelson Sager

Lament for Summer (a ballad)

The leaves do turn; the leaves do fall,

as breezes segúe to wind.

Summer slips into autumn;

then winter comes back again, again,

winter come back again.


Relentless cycle of life

ignores our wish to retain

leafy greenness, temperate air,

and somehow avoid winter’s pain, cold pain,

somehow avoid winter’s pain.


It strips the branches, blanches the grass,

coats the earth’s surface with frost, not rain,

imbrues the land with freezing dew,

interring what life might remain, remain,

interring what life might remain.


But then the spring will return,

and summer in triumph will reign,

but soon after that, the leaves again fall,

and all I enjoy starts to wane, to wane,

and all I enjoy starts to wane.


Empty branches, corpses of leaves

left to drift in the merciless wind—

how my heart grieves,

to see winter’s reprise:

cold winter’s triumphed again.