written on grounds of Lady Astor’s Estate - Clivedon, 1941
I watch the silver mist come stealing,
Cold, grey clouds of mist concealing
The fallen leaf, the withered reeds,
The yellow grass, the ripened seeds.
Autumnal colours - red and gold
Are cloaked by mist: their blaze is cold.
Silent the river steals along,
Hushed in voice - no lilting song:
The face of the river cold and grey
Runs and carries my love away.
Love has drifted away from me,
Gone on the river: silently.
“Come back!” Come back!” Tis thus I cry
But echoes are a mocking sigh.
The muffling mist is all I see: my love will ne’er come back to me
My heart was bold but now it’s cold
Like grey September mist.
[Editor’s note: The poem was included at the end of the transcription of the letter of September 19, 1944.]