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Dancing Leaves
Nancy Byrd Turner


The little autumn leaves,
Shabby and frayed and tin,
Get up beneath November skies
And dance before the wind.

They dance before the wind
That hurled them from their place,
But could not blow their anners down
Nor ruin their April grace.

They curtsy without fear,
And circle at his feet;
They whirl in many a lovely dance,
All beautiful and fleet.

High-hearted, brave they moce,
Daring his might breath;
Intrepid to the end, they tell
Their disregard of death.

Here is our lesson, Heart:
Let neither loss nor grief
Nor even death find us at last
Less valiant than a leaf.

This poem is in the public domain.

Nancy Byrd Turner (1880 - 1971) was born in Virginia. A descendant of both Thomas Jefferson and Pocohantas, Nancy began writing poetry as a child. She studied to become a teacher, and did teach for a few years, but eventually she became a magazine editor. During the course of her career, she published 15 books, several songs, and her work appeared regularly in the leading magazines of her day. Late in her life, Nancy became a freelance writer and a popular lecturer.




Post New Comment:
Dorothy WildhagenD:
Beautiful and filled with inspirational encouragement. Love it. Thanks.
Posted 11/17/2018 11:47 AM
A very sweet poem with a moral lesson winding in among the leaves and on into our hearts.
Posted 11/13/2018 09:38 PM
michael escoubas:
Wonderful post that brings out the poet's excellent ear for rhyme. Thank you.
Posted 11/13/2018 10:18 AM
Jean :D:
What a charming, "realistic" poem. I just had an onslaught of leaves on my patio this week & Nancy's words absolutely described the scene. I love her details!
Posted 11/13/2018 08:07 AM
I looked up "moce"; it's a synonym for "sleep." But I couldn't find what "blow their anners down" meant. Can someone enlighten me?
Posted 11/13/2018 07:46 AM

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