'Tis autumn in our northern land.
The summer walks a queen no more;
Her sceptre drops from out her hand;
Her strength is spent, her passion o'er.
On lake and stream, on field and town,
The placid sun smiles calmly down.
The teeming earth its fruit has borne;
The grain fields lie all shorn and bare;
And where the serried ranks of corn
Wave proudly in the summer air,
And bravely tossed their yellow locks,
Now thickly stands the bristling shocks.
On sunny slope, on crannied wall
The grapes hang purpling in the sun;
Down to the turf the brown nuts fall,
And golden apples, one by one.
Our bins run o'er with ample store—
Thus autumn reaps what summer bore.
The mill turns by the waterfall;
The loaded wagons go and come;
All day I hear the teamster's call,
All day I hear the threshers hum;
And many a shout and many a laugh
Comes breaking through the clouds of chaff.
Gay, careless sounds of homely toil!
With mirth and labor closely bent
The weary tiller of the soil
Wins seldom wealth, but oft content.
'Tis better still if he but knows
What sweet, wild beauty round him glows.
The brook glides toward the sleeping lake—
Now babbling over sinning stones;
Now under clumps of bush and brake,
Hushing its brawl to murmuring tones;
And now it takes its winding path
Through meadows green with aftermath.
The frosty twilight early falls,
But household fires burn warm and red.
The cold may creep without the walls,
And growing things lie stark and dead—
No matter, so the hearth be bright
When household faces meet to-night.