Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

Small persimmons, squashed and tangy sweet

Among dried leaves, in chill vanilla air,

Arrest us on our way along the street

Leading to Maymont grounds. Most trees are bare.

Grandpa, who took us by the hand

To paradise, we beseech you, bring,

In those transparent bottles from so long ago

Filled with water from the Byrd Park spring,

Bring us your blessing, you who know,

Perhaps, what lies beyond that autumn park,

That long-lost and remembered southern land,

As we prepare to leave-”for it grows dark-”

Guide us, grandpa, take us by the hand.

”Robert Greer Cohn