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AUTUMN
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[ Also see Harvest Indian Summer Nature Seasons Spring Summer Thanksgiving Day Weather Winter ]

Who is there who, at this season, does not feel his mind impressed with a sentiment of melancholy? or who is able to resist that current of thought, which, from such appearances of decay, so naturally leads him to the solemn imagination of that inevitable fate which is to bring on alike the decay of life, of empire, and of nature itself?
      - Sir Archibald Alison

Now Autumn's fire burns slowly along the woods,
  And day by day the dead leaves fall and melt,
    And night by night the monitory blast
      Wails in the key-hole, telling how it pass'd
        O'er empty fields, or upland solitudes,
          Or grim wide wave; and now the power is felt
            Of melancholy, tenderer in its moods
              Than any joy indulgent Summer dealt.
      - William Allingham,
        Day and Night Songs--Autumnal Sonnet

O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stained
  With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit
    Beneath my shady roof; there thou mayest rest
      And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe,
        And all the daughters of the year shall dance!
          Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers.
      - William Blake, To Autumn (st. 1)

Earth's crammed with heaven,
  And every common bush afire with God;
    And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
      The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.
      - Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Aurora Leigh
         (bk. VII)

Autumn wins you best by this, its mute
  Appeal to sympathy for its decay.
      - Robert Browning, Paracelsus (sc. 1)

The year's last, loveliest smile.
      - William Cullen Bryant

The melancholy days have come, the saddest of the year,
  Of wailing winds, and naked woods, and meadows brown and sear.
      - William Cullen Bryant,
        The Death of the Flowers (l. 221)

Glorious are the woods in their latest gold and crimson,
  Yet our full-leaved willows are in the freshest green.
    Such a kindly autumn, so mercifully dealing
      With the growths of summer, I never yet have seen.
      - William Cullen Bryant, Third of November

All-cheering Plenty, with her flowing horn,
  Led yellow Autumn, wreath'd with nodding corn.
      - Robert Burns, Brigs of Ayr (l. 221)

The mellow autumn came, and with it came
  The promised party, to enjoy its sweets.
    The corn is cut, the manor full of game;
      The pointer ranges, and the sportsman beats
        In russet jacket;--lynx-like is his aim;
          Full grows his bag, and wonderful his feats.
            An, nutbrown partridges! An, brilliant pheasants!
              And ah, ye poachers!--'Tis no sport for peasants.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
        Don Juan (canto XIII, st. 75)

Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower.
      - Albert Camus

Yellow, mellow, ripened days,
  Sheltered in a golden coating;
    O'er the dreamy, listless haze,
      White and dainty cloudlets floating;
        Winking at the blushing trees,
          And the sombre, furrowed fallow;
            Smiling at the airy ease,
              Of the southward flying swallow
                Sweet and smiling are thy ways,
                  Beauteous, golden Autumn days.
      - Will Carleton, Autumn Days

A moral character is attached to autumnal scenes; the leaves falling like our years, the flowers fading like our hours, the clouds fleeting like our illusions, the light diminishing like our intelligence, the sun growing colder like our affections, the rivers becoming frozen like our lives--all bear secret relations to our destinies.
      - Francois August Rene de Chateaubriand, Vicomte de Chateaubriand

A breath, whence no man knows,
  Swaying the grating weeds, it blows;
    It comes, it grieves, it goes.
      Once it rocked the summer rose.
      - John Vance Cheney, Passing of Autumn

How strange and awful is the synthesis of life and death in the gusty winds and falling leaves of an autumnal day!
      - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

As fall the light autumnal leaves, one still the other following, till the bough strews all its honors.
      - Dante ("Dante Alighieri")

No spring, nor summer beauty hath such grace
  As I have seen in one autumnal face;
    Young beauties force our love, and that's a rape;
      This doth but counsel, yet you cannot scape.
      - Dr. John Donne, Elegy IX--The Autumnal

When bounteous autumn rears her head, he joys to pull the ripened pear.
      - John Dryden

Third act of the eternal play!
  In poster-like emblazonries
    "Autumn once more begins today"--
      'Tis written all across the trees
        In yellow like Chinese.
      - Richard Le Gallienne, The Eternal Play

The summer's throbbing chant is done
  And mute the choral antiphon;
    The birds have left the shivering pines
      To flit among the trellised vines,
        Or fan the air with scented plumes
          Amid the love-sick orange blooms,
            And thou art here alone--alone--
              Sing, little bird! the rest have flown.
      - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Boughs are daily rifled
  By the gusty thieves,
    And the book of Nature
      Getteth short of leaves.
      - Thomas Hood

The Autumn is old;
  The sere leaves are flying;
    He hath gather'd up gold,
      And now he is dying;--
        Old age, begin sighing!
      - Thomas Hood, Autumn

The year's in the wane,
  There is nothing adorning,
    The night has no eve,
      And the day has no morning;--
        Cold winter gives warning.
      - Thomas Hood, Autumn

I saw old Autumn in the misty morn
  Stand shadowless like silence, listening
    To silence, for no lonely bird would sing
      Into his hollow ear from woods forlorn,
        Nor lowly hedge nor solitary thorn;--
          Shaking his languid locks all dewy bright
            With tangled gossamer that fell by night,
              Pearling his coronet of golden corn.
      - Thomas Hood, Ode--Autumn

The lands are lit with all the autumn blaze of golden-rod, and everywhere the purple asters nod and bend and wave and flit.
      - Helen Hunt (Helen Hunt Jackson)


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