A Fall Bouquet of Poetry III
In celebration of the first day of Autumn.
Shorter and shorter now the twilight clips
The days, as through the sunset gates they crowd,
And Summer from her golden collar slips
And strays through stubble-fields, and moans aloud,
Save when by fits the warmer air deceives,
And, stealing hopeful to some sheltered bower,
She lies on pillows of the yellow leaves,
And tries the old tunes over for an hour.
The wind, whose tender whisper in the May
Set all the young blooms listening through th'grove,
Sits rustling in the faded boughs to-day
And makes his cold and unsuccessful love.
The rose has taken off her tire of red
The mullein-stalk its yellow stars have lost,
And the proud meadow-pink hangs down her head
Against earth's chilly bosom, witched with frost.
The robin, that was busy all the June,
Before the sun had kissed the topmost bough,
Catching our hearts up in his golden tune,
Has given place to the brown cricket now.
The very cock crows lonesomely at morn
Each flag and fern the shrinking stream divides
Uneasy cattle low, and lambs forlorn
Creep to their strawy sheds with nettled sides.
Shut up the door: who loves me must not look
Upon the withered world, but haste to bring
His lighted candle, and his story-book,
And live with me the poetry of Spring.
When the summer fields are mown,
When the birds are fledged and flown,
And the dry leaves strew the path;
With the falling of the snow,
With the cawing of the crow,
Once again the fields we mow
And gather in the aftermath.
Not the sweet, new grass with flowers
Is this harvesting of ours;
Not the upland clover bloom;
But the rowen mixed with weeds,
Tangled tufts from marsh and meads,
Where the poppy drops its seeds
In the silence and the gloom.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The leaves though thick are falling; one by one
Decayed they drop from off their parent tree;
Their work with autumn's latest day is done,
Thou see'st them borne upon its breezes free;
They lie strown here and there, their many dyes
That yesterday so caught thy passing eye;
Soiled by the rain each leaf neglected lies,
Upon the path where now thou hurriest by;
Yet think thee not their beauteous tints less fair,
Than when they hung so gaily o'er thy head;
But rather find thee eyes, and look thee there
Where now thy feet so heedless o'er them tread;
And thou shalt see where wasting now they lie,
The unseen hues of immortality.
In the dreamy silence
Of the afternoon, a
Cloth of gold is woven
Over wood and prairie;
And the jaybird, newly
Fallen from the heaven,
Scatters cordial greetings,
And the air is filled with
Scarlet leaves, that, dropping
Rise again, as ever,
With a useless sigh for
Restand it is Autumn.
Alexander L. Posey
Ere, in the northern gale,
The summer tresses of the trees are gone,
The woods of Autumn, all around our vale,
Have put their glory on.
The mountains that infold,
In their wide sweep, the coloured landscape round,
Seem groups of giant kings, in purple and gold,
That guard the enchanted ground.
I roam the woods that crown
The upland, where the mingled splendours glow,
Where the gay company of trees look down
On the green fields below.
My steps are not alone
In these bright walks; the sweet southwest, at play,
Flies, rustling, where the painted leaves are strown
Along the winding way.
And far in heaven, the while,
The sun, that sends that gale to wander here,
Pours out on the fair earth his quiet smile,
The sweetest of the year.
Where now the solemn shade,
Verdure and gloom where many branches meet;
So grateful, when the noon of summer made
The valleys sick with heat?
Let in through all the trees
Come the strange rays; the forest depths are bright;
Their sunny-coloured foliage, in the breeze,
Twinkles, like beams of light.
The rivulet, late unseen,
Where bickering through the shrubs its waters run,
Shines with the image of its golden screen,
And glimmerings of the sun.
But 'neath yon crimson tree,
Lover to listening maid might breathe his flame,
Nor mark, within its roseate canopy,
Her blush of maiden shame.
Oh, Autumn! why so soon
Depart the hues that make thy forests glad;
Thy gentle wind and thy fair sunny noon,
And leave thee wild and sad!
Ah! 'twere a lot too blessed
For ever in thy coloured shades to stray;
Amid the kisses of the soft southwest
To rove and dream for aye;
And leave the vain low strife
That makes men madthe tug for wealth and power,
The passions and the cares that wither life,
And waste its little hour.
William Cullen Bryant
The Harvest Moon
It is the Harvest Moon! On gilded vanes
And roofs of villages, on woodland crests
And their aerial neighborhoods of nests
Deserted, on the curtained window-panes
Of rooms where children sleep, on country lanes
And harvest-fields, its mystic splendor rests!
Gone are the birds that were our summer guests,
With the last sheaves return the laboring wains!
All things are symbols: the external shows
Of Nature have their image in the mind,
As flowers and fruits and falling of the leaves;
The song-birds leave us at the summer's close,
Only the empty nests are left behind,
And pipings of the quail among the sheaves.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Still blooming on, when Summer flowers all fade,
The golden-rods and asters fill the glade;
The tokens they of an Exhaustless Love
That ever to the end doth constant prove.
To one fair tribe another still succeeds,
As still the heart new forms of beauty needs;
Till these, bright children of the waning year,
Its latest born, have come our souls to cheer.
They glance upon us from their fringed eyes,
And to their look our own in love replies;
Within our hearts we find for them a place,
As for the flowers which early spring-time grace.
Despond not, traveler! on life's lengthened way,
When all thy early friends have passed away;
Say not, "No more the beautiful doth live,
And to the earth a bloom and fragrance give."
To every season has our Father given
Some tokens of his love to us from heaven;
Nor leaves us here, uncheered, to walk alone,
When all we loved and prized in youth have gone.
Let but thy heart go forth to all around,
Still by thy side the beautiful is found;
Along thy path the Autumn flowers shall smile,
And to its close life's pilgrimage beguile.
At last there came
The sudden fall of frost, when Time
Dreaming through russet September days
Suddenly awoke, and lifting his head, strode
Swiftly forwardmade one vast desolating sweep
Of his scythe, then, rapt with the glory
That burned under his feet, fell dreaming again.
And the clouds soared and the crickets sang
In the brief heat of noon; the corn,
So green, grew sere and dry
And in the mist the ploughman's team
Moved silently, as if in dream
And it was Indian summer on the plain.
Nay, be contentour door that opens wide
On whitened fields this autumn dawn, all furred
With silver imagery, the sudden bird
That soothes the crystal air, the windless tide
Of light across the world from roof to floor
Thy heart can ask no more.
The fringed horizon of the pines
Is delicate with frore,
And holds our world within its shadow shore,
Our world where beauty fresh with dewy wines
Sits naked at our door.
Thine eyes in mine! The vineyard's dusky bloom,
The garnered grain, are gifts of autumn's mirth;
And now, while softly through the forest gloom
The warm awakening of the good wet earth
Suspires through the dawn, we need not fear
The ceaseless pageantry of death and birth,
The swallow's passing with the changing year.
Our souls could say, "Perfection was and is;
Death comes like slumber,"if to-morrow's sun
Should find us fallen with the summer's rose.
This moment stolen from the centuries,
This foretaste of the soul's oblivion
We hold and cherish, and because of this
Are life and death made perfect, and thy woes
Turn lyric through the glory we have won.
The morning flower that drew its petals close
And slept the cold night through is now unfurled
To catch the breathless moment; big and sane
Our autumn day forsakes the gates of rose,
And like a lion shakes its golden mane
And leaps upon the world.
George Cabot Lodge
American Poetry: The Nineteenth Century (1993), ed. John Hollander; Volume Two, p. 94; Volume One, p. 426; Volume One, p. 635; Volume Two, p. 629; Volume One, p. 151f; Volume One, p. 441; Volume One, p. 641; Volume Two, p. 526; Volume Two, 631ff.
See also A Fall Bouquet of Poetry and A Fall Bouquet of Poetry II.
Lane Core Jr. CIW P Mon. 09/22/08 09:40:03 AM
Categorized as Literary.