There’s a beautiful Artist abroad in the world,
And her pencil is dipped in heaven,–
The gorgeous hues of Italian skies,
The radiant sunset’s richest dyes,
The light of Aurora’s laughing eyes,
Are each to her pictures given.
As I walked abroad yestere’en, what time
The sunset was fairest to see,
I saw where her wonderful brush had been
Over a maple tree–half of it green–
And the fairiest col’ring that ever was seen
She had left on that maple tree.
There was red of every possible hue,
There was yellow of every dye,
From the faintest straw-tint to orange bright,
Fluttering, waving, flashing in light,
With the delicate, green leaves still in sight,
Peeping out at the sunset sky.
She had touched the beech, and the scraggy thing.
In a bright new suit was dressed;
Very queer, indeed, it looked to me,
The sober old beech tree thus to see,
So different from what he used to be,
Rigged out in a holiday vest.
Red, and russet, and green, and grey–
He had little indeed of gold–
For the beech was never known to be gay,
Being noted a very grave tree alway,
Never flaunting out in a fanciful way
Like other trees, we are told.
But the beautiful artist had touched him off
With an extra tint or so;
And he held his own very well with the rest,
On which, I am sure, she had done her best,
Dressing each in the fairiest kind of a vest,
Till the forest was all aglow.
There were the willow that grew by the brook,
And the old oak on the hill;
The graceful elm tree down in the swale,
The birch, the ash, and the bass-wood pale,
The orchard trees clustering over the vale,
And weeds that fringed the rill.
One, she had gilt with a flood of gold,
And one, she had tipped with flame;
One, she had dashed with every hue
That the laughing sunset ever knew,
And one–she had colored it through and through
Russet, all sober and tame.
Now this beautiful artist will only stay
A very few days, and then,
She will finish her gorgeous pictures all,
And hurry away ere the gusty squall
Ruins her work, and the sere leaves fail
Darkly in copse and glen.
Then welcome these pictures, so soon to fade,
While they’re fresh, and bright, and new,
For a frosty night, and a gusty day,
And a withering blight are not far away,
So enjoy the beautiful while you may,
It was given, good friend, for you!