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

Autumn is the harvest of greedy death.
      - Juvenal (Decimus Junius Juvenal)

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!
  Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
    Conspiring with him how to load and bless
      With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
        To bend with apples the moss'd cottage trees,
          And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core.
      - John Keats (1), To Autumn

To her bier comes the year, not with weeping and distress, as mortals do; but to guide her way to it, all the trees have torches lit.
      - Lucy Larcom

Behold congenial Autumn comes,
  The Sabbath of the year!
      - John Logan

It was Autumn, and incessant
  Piped the quails from shocks and sheaves,
    And, like living coals, the apples
      Burned among the withering leaves.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
        Pegasus in Pound

What visionary tints the year puts on,
  When falling leaves falter through motionless air
    Or numbly cling and shiver to be gone!
      How shimmer the low flats and pastures bare,
        As with her nectar Hebe Autumn fills
          The bowl between me and those distant hills,
            And smiles and shakes abroad her misty, tremulous hair!
      - James Russell Lowell,
        An Indian Summer Reverie

However constant the visitations of sickness and bereavement, the fall of the year is most thickly strewn with the fall of human life. Everywhere the spirit of some sad power seems to direct the time; it hides from us the blue heavens, it makes the green wave turbid; it walks through the fields, and lays the damp ungathered harvest low; it cries out in the night wind and the shrill hail; it steals the summer bloom from the infant cheek; it makes old age shiver to the heart; it goes to the churchyard, and chooses many a grave.
      - James Martineau

Every season hath its pleasure;
  Spring may boast her flowery prime,
    Yet the vineyard's ruby treasuries
      Brighten Autumn's sob'rer time.
      - Thomas Moore, Spring and Autumn

Autumn
  Into earth's lap does throw
    Brown apples gay in a game of play,
      As the equinoctials blow.
      - Dinah Maria Mulock (used pseudonym Mrs. Craik),
        October

Sorrow and the scarlet leaf,
  Sad thoughts and sunny weather;
    Ah me! this glory and this grief
      Agree not well together!
      - Thomas William Parsons,
        A Song for September

Thrice happy time,
  Best portion of the various year, in which
    Nature rejoyceth, smiling on her works
      Lovely, to full perfection wrought!
      - Wendell Phillips

Ye flowers that droop, forsaken by the spring,
  Ye birds that, left by summer, cease to sing,
    Ye trees that fade, when Autumn heats remove,
      Say, is not absence death to those who love?
      - Alexander Pope, Pastorals--Autumn (l. 27)

Thus sung the shepherds till th' approach of night,
  The skies yet blushing with departing light,
    When falling dews with spangles deck'd the glade,
      And the low sun had lengthened every shade.
      - Alexander Pope, Pastorals--Autumn
         (last lines)

O, it sets my heart a clickin' like the tickin' of a clock,
  When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock.
      - James Whitcomb Riley,
        When the Frost is on the Punkin

This sunlight shames November where he grieves
  In dead red leaves, and will not let him shun
    The day, though bough with bough be overrun.
      But with a blessing every glade receives
        High salutation.
      - Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Autumn Idleness

The spring, the summer, the chill autumn, angry winter, change their wonted liveries.
      - William Shakespeare

The teeming autumn, big with rich increase, bearing the wanton burden of the prime.
      - William Shakespeare

The year growing ancient,
  Nor yet on summer's death, nor on the birth
    Of trembling winter.
      - William Shakespeare

The warm sun is failing, the bleak wind is wailing,
  The bare boughs are sighing, the pale flowers are dying;
    And the year
      On the earth her deathbed, in a shroud of leaves dead,
        Is lying.
          Come months, come away,
            From November to May,
              In your saddest array;
                Follow the bier
                  Of the dead cold year,
                    And like dim shadows watch by her sepulchre.
      - Percy Bysshe Shelley, Autumn--A Dirge

Then came the autumne, all in yellow clad,
  As though he joy'd in his plenteous store,
    Laden with fruits that made him laugh, full glad
      That he had banished hunger, which tofore
        Had by the belly oft him pinched sore;
          Upon his head a wreath that was enrol'd
            With ears of corne of every sort, he bore,
              And in his hand a sickle did he holde,
                To reape the ripened fruit the which the earth had yold.
      - Edmund Spenser

Divinest Autumn! who may paint thee best,
  Forever changeful o'er the changeful globe?
    Who guess thy certain crown, thy favorite crest,
      The fashion of thy many-colored robe?
      - Richard Henry Stoddard

The misty earth below is wan and drear,
  The baying winds chase all the leaves away,
    As cruel hounds pursue the trembling deer;
      It is a solemn time, the sunset of the year.
      - Richard Henry Stoddard

Cold autumn, wan with wrath of wind and rain,
  Saw pass a soul sweet as the sovereign tune
    That death smote silent when he smote again.
      - Algernon Charles Swinburne,
        Autumn and Winter (I)

Autumn has come;
  Storming now heaventh the deep sea with foam,
    Yet would I gratefully lie there,
      Willingly die there.
      - Esaias Tegner,
        Fridthjof's Saga--Ingeborg's Lament

How are the veins of thee, Autumn, laden.
  Umbered juices,
    And pulped oozes
      Pappy out of the cherry-bruises,
        Froth the veins of thee, wild, wild maiden.
          With hair that musters
            In globed clusters,
              In trumbling clusters, like swarthy grapes,
                Round thy brow and thine ears o'ershaden;
                  With the burning darkness of eyes like pansies,
                    Like velvet pansies
                      Where through escapes
                        The splendid might of thy conflagrate fancies;
                          With robe gold-tawny not hiding the shapes
                            Of the feet whereunto it falleth down,
                              Thy naked feet unsandalled;
                                With robe gold-tawny that does not veil
                                  Feet where the red
                                    Is meshed in the brown,
                                      Like a rubied sun in a Venice-sail.
      - Francis Thompson, A Corymbus for Autumn
         (st. 2)


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