Sonnet XXV: Ode to Autumn Of shadows long and light of rarest gold, Abundant bringer, harvester of land, Receive, O Autumn, as in days of old, This wreath of olive from a poet’s hand! I sing the praises of your crimson hue With purple lips that kissed your blushing wines; I drink your skies of undiluted blue Beneath your rustling groves and patient pines; For, you are summer ripened, spring reversed, The warmth of winter’s youth, the cordial sun That held me once, before joy’s grape was burst In sorrow’s press, and youth’s false dreams undone, O rich intoner of our Mother’s grief Who chants her tears in every falling leaf! From Sonnets for Christ the King Note from the Poet: In New Mexico, whose heritage of lyric poetry is rooted in the ancient alabados, or Spanish hymns of praise preserved by the Penitentes, the Blessed Virgin Mary was very often venerated as Nuestra Señora de los Dolores, or Our Lady of Sorrows. Within what English critic James Sale has called the “cosmos” of the Sonnets for Christ the King, the couplet of Sonnet 15 is a “tragic foreshadowing” of the Passion depicted in the last 14 sonnets of the sequence, as “our Mother’s grief” refers to the Mater Dolorosa directly. "Spring reversed” is also an allusion to the Passion. Biographically speaking, the poet’s earthly mother, as a girl, attended Mass at the19th-century church of Our Lady of Sorrows in Las Vegas, New Mexico, making the final couplet a double reference, both deeply personal and Mariological at the same time. Joseph Charles MacKenzie is a traditional lyric poet, First Place winner of the Scottish International Poetry Competition (Long Poem Section). His poetry has appeared in The New York Times, The Scotsman (Edinburgh), The Independent (London), US News and World Report, Google News, and many other outlets. He writes primarily for the Society of Classical Poets (New York).