周末读《叶慈》：The Falling of the Leaves
The Falling of the Leaves
Autumn is over the long leaves that love us,
And over the mice in the barley sheaves;
Yellow the leaves of the rowan above us,
And yellow the wet wild-strawberry leaves.
The hour of the waning of love has beset us,
And weary and worn are our sad souls now;
Let us part,ere the season of passion forget us,
With a kiss and a tear on thy drooping brow.
This short, single stanza, eight-line poem described in one word: melancholy.
The image of the falling of leaves in this poem, symbolizing the passing of a lively summer into a cold and death-like winter, inspires a feeling of sadness and euphoria as the speaker describes a dying love. The back-to-back use of the color yellow in lines three and four indicate melancholy, as the color yellow is often associated historically with the melancholia ailment. His intentional choice of words such as “waning”, “weary” and “worn” demonstrate the weariness of soul associated with the feeling of melancholy (and also creates an alliteration of sound for auditory effect). Just the image of something falling inspires a sense of something dying, losing strength, losing vitality; the perfect metaphor for a dying romance. The image of a falling tear and a drooping brow in the last line maintain the consistency of this symbolic metaphor perfectly.
This poem is one of my favorites of Yeats, because it manages to create such a sincere emotion while being so simple and without being overdone or exaggerated.