The Pity of the Leaves
Vengeful across the cold November moors,
Loud with ancestral shame there came the bleak
Sad wind that shrieked, and answered with a shriek
Reverberant through lonely corridors.
The old man heard it; and he heard, perforce,
Words out of lips that were no more to speak -
Words of the past that shook the old man's cheek
Like dead, remembered footsteps on old floors.
And then there were the leaves that plagued him so!
The brown, thin leaves that on the stones outside
Skipped with a freezing whisper. Now and then
They stopped - and stayed there - just to let him know
How dead they were, but if the old man cried,
They fluttered off like withered souls of men.
- Edwin Arlington Robinson
Here in the U.S. it's a day to honor veterans, but today I've been thinking about the first world war, and the armistice which is being remembered abroad.