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Fall Poems

Introduction to a Collection of Fall Poems

The changing of the seasons breathes new life into us. What a beautiful part of the human experience! We love to ponder and write about the seasons. Collected here are some of the finest poems that have been written about fall. For your convenience, a few recommendations have been listed below. For instance, if you're looking for fall poems for kids, try Susan Coolidge's How the Leaves Came Down. For a short fall poem, you might like Autumn by Emily Dickinson. A good long fall poem is John Greenleaf Whittier's The Corn Song, (don't worry, it's not toooo long). And for a famous fall poem, try William Blake's To Autumn. Below is a more complete, categorized list of suggestions. You can use the "Type to Filter" search box to find a selection of interest.

Fall Poems for Kids

  • How the Leaves Came Down by Susan Coolidge
  • An Autumn Moving by Anonymous
  • Autumn by Emily Dickinson
  • Autumn Fires by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Popping Corn by Anonymous
  • The Wind And The Leaves by George Cooper
  • October's Party by George Cooper
  • The Autumn Wind by Annette Wynne

Short Fall Poems

  • A Ballade of Autumn by Mary E. Coleridge
  • Autumn by Emily Dickinson
  • Autumn Fires by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Popping Corn by Anonymous
  • Autumn Blue Mist by Hilda Conkling
  • Autumn by John Clare
  • A Vagabond Song by Bliss Carman
  • Autumn Song by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
  • Symphony in Yellow by Oscar Wilde
  • Autumn Colors by Christopher Morley
  • Leaves by Hilda Conkling

Funny Fall Poems

  • An Autumn Moving by Anonymous
  • When the Frost is on the Punkin by James Whitcomb Riley

Long Fall Poems

  • September by George Arnold
  • The Corn Song by John Greenleaf Whittier
  • The Pumpkin by John Greenleaf Whittier
  • How the Leaves Came Down by Susan Coolidge

Famous Fall Poems

  • To Autumn by William Blake
  • To Autumn by John Keats
  • October by Robert Frost
  • Autumn Birds by John Clare
  • Autumn Fires by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • The Corn Song by John Greenleaf Whittier
  • A Vagabond Song by Bliss Carman
  • Autumn Song by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

    Fall Colors

  1. Autumn Tints

    November Mosaic
    November Mosaic
    by Willard Metcalf
    by Mathilde Blind. In this poem about Autumn, German-born British poet Mathilde Blind writes about the changing seasons and the beauty of fall fall colors.

    Coral-coloured yew-berries
    Strew the garden ways,
    Hollyhocks and sunflowers
    Make a dazzling blaze
    In these latter days.

    Marigolds by cottage doors
    Flaunt their golden pride,
    Crimson-punctured bramble leaves
    Dapple far and wide
    The green mountain-side....

    Far away, on hilly slopes
    Where fleet rivulets run,
    Miles on miles of tangled fern,
    Burnished by the sun,
    Glow a copper dun.

    For the year that's on the wane,
    Gathering all its fire,
    Flares up through the kindling world
    As, ere they expire,
    Flames leap high and higher.

  2. An Autumn Moving

    by Anonymous. One of the more humorous fall poems, An Autumn Moving light-heartedly tells us about the different seasonal colors that move into and out of the neighborhood.

    The Browns are coming back to town;
    The Greens are moving away.
    'Twill make a striking difference
    In our neighhorhood they say;
    For the Greens are jolly, cheery folk,
    The Browns are rather sad,
    A dull and sombre family,
    While the Greens are always glad.
    I'm very fond of all the Greens,
    From little Greens to big;
    I like to see them dancing by
    As merry as a grig.
    And yet I think I'm going to like
    The Browns's sober style;
    After the riot of the Greens
    'Twill rest us for a while.
    And I've a notion that some week
    Of windy, frosty nights,
    The Browns in turn will go away,
    And in will move the Whites!

  3. Nothing Gold Can Stay

    by Robert Frost

    Nature's first green is gold,
    Her hardest hue to hold,

    Her early leaf's a flower;
    But only so an hour.

    Then leaf subsides to leaf.
    So Eden sank to grief,

    So dawn goes down to day.
    Nothing gold can stay.

  4. Autumn Song

    by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

    Know'st thou not at the fall of the leaf
    How the heart feels a languid grief
    Laid on it for a covering,
    And how sleep seems a goodly thing
    In Autumn at the fall of the leaf?

    And how the swift beat of the brain
    Falters because it is in vain,
    In Autumn at the fall of the leaf
    Knowest thou not? and how the chief
    Of joys seems—not to suffer pain?

    Know'st thou not at the fall of the leaf
    How the soul feels like a dried sheaf
    Bound up at length for harvesting,
    And how death seems a comely thing
    In Autumn at the fall of the leaf?

  5. Symphony in Yellow

    by Oscar Wilde

    An omnibus across the bridge
    Crawls like a yellow butterfly
    And, here and there, a passer-by
    Shows like a little restless midge.

    Big barges full of yellow hay
    Are moored against the shadowy wharf,
    And, like a yellow silken scarf,
    The thick fog hangs along the quay.

    The yellow leaves begin to fade
    And flutter from the Temple elms,
    And at my feet the pale green Thames
    Lies like a rod of rippled jade.

  6. Autumn Colors

    by Christopher Morley

    The chestnut trees turned yellow,
    The oak like sherry browned,
    The fir, the stubborn fellow,
    Stayed green the whole year round.

    But O the bonny maple
    How richly he does shine!
    He glows against the sunset
    Like ruddy old port wine.

  7. The Changing Seasons

  8. Autumn

    by Emily Dickinson

    The morns are meeker than they were,
    The nuts are getting brown;
    The berry's cheek is plumper,
    The rose is out of town.

    The maple wears a gayer scarf,
    The field a scarlet gown.
    Lest I should be old-fashioned,
    I'll put a trinket on.

  9. A Ballade of Autumn

    by Mary E. Coleridge

    Life is passing slowly,
    Death is drawing near,
    Life and Death are holy,
    What have we to fear?

    Faded leaves are falling,
    Birds are on the wing,
    All that dies in Autumn
    Lives again in Spring.

  10. How the Leaves Came Down

    Maple Leaf
    Maple Leaf
    by Edward Edmonson, Jr.
    by Susan Coolidge

    "I'll tell you how the leaves came down,"
    The great Tree to his children said:
    "You're getting sleepy, Yellow and Brown,
    Yes, very sleepy, little Red.
    It is quite time to go to bed."

    "Ah!" begged each silly, pouting leaf,
    "Let us a little longer stay;
    Dear Father Tree, behold our grief!
    'Tis such a very pleasant day,
    We do not want to go away."

    So, for just one more merry day
    To the great Tree the leaflets clung,
    Frolicked and danced, and had their way,
    Upon the autumn breezes swung,
    Whispering all their sports among—

    "Perhaps the great Tree will forget,
    And let us stay until the spring,
    If we all beg, and coax, and fret."
    But the great Tree did no such thing;
    He smiled to hear their whispering.

    "Come, children, all to bed," he cried;
    And ere the leaves could urge their prayer,
    He shook his head, and far and wide,
    Fluttering and rustling everywhere,
    Down sped the leaflets through the air.

    I saw them; on the ground they lay,
    Golden and red, a huddled swarm,
    Waiting till one from far away,
    White bedclothes heaped upon her arm,
    Should come to wrap them safe and warm.

    The great bare Tree looked down and smiled.
    "Good-night, dear little leaves," he said.
    And from below each sleepy child
    Replied, "Good-night," and murmured,
    "It is _so_ nice to go to bed!"

  11. The Wind And The Leaves

    Trees in Stormy Weather
    Trees in Stormy Weather
    by Pieter Kluyver
    by George Cooper

    "Come, little leaves," said the wind one day.
    "Come o'er the meadows with me, and play'
    Put on your dress of red and gold,—
    Summer is gone, and the days grow cold."

    Soon as the leaves heard the wind's loud call,
    Down they came fluttering, one and all;
    Over the brown fields they danced and flew,
    Singing the soft little songs they knew.

    "Cricket, good-by, we've been friends so long;
    Little brook, sing us your farewell song,—
    Say you are sorry to see us go;
    Ah! you will miss us, right well we know."

    "Dear little lambs, in your fleecy fold,
    Mother will keep you from harm and cold;
    Fondly we've watched you in vale and glade;
    Say, will you dream of our loving shade?"

    Dancing and whirling, the little leaves went;
    Winter had called them, and they were content.
    Soon fast asleep in their earthy beds,
    The snow laid a coverlet over their heads.

    When the leaves are flying
    Across the azure sky,
    Autumn on the hill top
    Turns to say good-by;

    – Bliss Carman
    Lines for a Picture
  12. October's Party

    by George Cooper

    October gave a party;
    The leaves by hundreds came—
    The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
    And leaves of every name.
    The Sunshine spread a carpet,
    And everything was grand,
    Miss Weather led the dancing,
    Professor Wind the band.

    The Chestnuts came in yellow,
    The Oaks in crimson dressed;
    The lovely Misses Maple
    In scarlet looked their best;
    All balanced to their partners,
    And gaily fluttered by;
    The sight was like a rainbow
    New fallen from the sky.

    Then, in the rustic hollow,
    At hide-and-seek they played,
    The party closed at sundown,
    And everybody stayed.
    Professor Wind played louder;
    They flew along the ground;
    And then the party ended
    In jolly "hands around."

  13. I Love These Days

    by Annette Wynne

    I love these days when autumn leaves
    Are falling everywhere around,
    And I can tread among the sheaves,
    And hear the crispy, crunchy sound.

    I leave my dolly safe at home,
    And climb the old gray orchard wall;
    The squirrels spy me where I roam,
    And scamper to the treetops tall.

    And O, it is a pleasant thing
    To listen for the happy sound,
    Each little leaflet tries to sing,
    That rustles softly to the ground.

    And so I spend the afternoon,
    And watch the leaves go floating by
    Till Mother comes to say that soon
    The dark will come into the sky.

    I know when stars are overhead,
    The leaves all gather in a heap,
    And while I lie quite warm in bed,
    They snuggle close and go to sleep.

  14. A Song of Early Autumn

    Herbstliche Waldlandschaft mit Gewässer
    by Bruno Moras
    by Richard Watson Gilder. Gilder's beautiful descriptions of fall colors, fall leaves, and the changing seasons makes this piece right at home with other fall poems of merit.

    When late in summer the streams run yellow,
    Burst the bridges and spread into bays;
    When berries are black and peaches are mellow,
    And hills are hidden by rainy haze;

    When the goldenrod is golden still,
    But the heart of the sunflower is darker and sadder;
    When the corn is in stacks on the slope of the hill,
    And slides o'er the path the striped adder;

    When butterflies flutter from clover to thicket,
    Or wave their wings on the drooping leaf;
    When the breeze comes shrill with the call of the cricket,
    Grasshopper's rasp, and rustle of sheaf;...

    When high in the field the fern-leaves wrinkle,
    And brown is the grass where the mowers have mown;
    When low in the meadow the cow-bells tinkle,
    And small brooks crinkle o'er stock and stone;

    When heavy and hollow the robin's whistle
    And shadows are deep in the heat of noon;
    When the air is white with the down o' the thistle,
    And the sky is red with the harvest moon;

    O, then be chary, young Robert and Mary,
    No time let slip, not a moment wait!
    If the fiddle would play it must stop its tuning;
    And they who would wed must be done with their mooning;
    So let the churn rattle, see well to the cattle,
    And pile the wood by the barn-yard gate!

  15. Autumn Fires

    by Robert Louis Stevenson.

    In the other gardens
    And all up the vale,
    From the autumn bonfires
    See the smoke trail!

    Pleasant summer over
    And all the summer flowers,
    The red fire blazes,
    The grey smoke towers.

    Sing a song of seasons!
    Something bright in all!
    Flowers in the summer,
    Fires in the fall!

  16. Autumn

    Autumn...she is tranquil, deeply quiet,
    With a graceful, even moving;

    – Ruby Archer
    by Ruby Archer

    When, I wonder, shall I meet her,
    As I wander through the woodland,
    Meet the pensive maiden Autumn,
    With the eyes that look afar?
    I would welcome her and greet her,
    Gladly turn to her from Summer,
    As we leave the garish daylight
    For a single pallid star.

    She is tranquil, deeply quiet,
    With a graceful, even moving;
    And a benison of silence
    Falls about her where she goes.
    Wanton Summer was a-riot
    With impassioned song and blossom,
    Gay with glory, heartless ever,
    With a thorn for every rose.

    I shall meet the Autumn maiden—
    Here are signs that she is near me:
    On the hills a gauzy azure
    From her veil in gliding by;
    And her golden-rod is laden—
    Yellow plumes of starry masses—
    And the white, the purple asters
    For her coming footfall sigh.

    Yet I feel a half regretting
    For that lavish June-time sunlight,
    Every hour attuned to warbling,
    And with bee and blossom rife.—
    Hie away, and speed forgetting!
    I will seek my Autumn maiden.
    Wayward Summer is our dreaming;
    Sober Autumn—is our life.

  17. Autumn: A Dirge

    Evening Glow
    by John Atkinson Grimshaw
    by Percy Bysshe Shelley. Here, Shelley writes a somber autumn poem about the fall months.

    The warm sun is falling, the bleak wind is wailing,
    The bare boughs are sighing, the pale flowers are dying,
    And the Year
    On the earth is her death-bed, 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....

    The chill rain is falling, the nipped worm is crawling,
    The rivers are swelling, the thunder is knelling
    For the Year;
    The blithe swallows are flown, and the lizards each gone
    To his dwelling.
    Come, Months, come away;
    Put on white, black and gray;
    Let your light sisters play—
    Ye, follow the bier
    Of the dead cold Year,
    And make her grave green with tear on tear.

  18. Autumn Thoughts

    I said to Earth, so cold and gray,
    'An emblem of myself thou art.'

    – Autumn Thoughts
    John Greenleaf Whittier
    by John Greenleaf Whittier

    Gone hath the Spring, with all its flowers,
    And gone the Summer's pomp and show,
    And Autumn, in his leafless bowers,
    Is waiting for the Winter's snow.

    I said to Earth, so cold and gray,
    'An emblem of myself thou art.'
    'Not so,' the Earth did seem to say,
    'For Spring shall warm my frozen heart.'
    I soothe my wintry sleep with dreams
    Of warmer sun and softer rain,
    And wait to hear the sound of streams
    And songs of merry birds again....

    But thou, from whom the Spring hath gone,
    For whom the flowers no longer blow,
    Who standest blighted and forlorn,
    Like Autumn waiting for the snow;

    No hope is thine of sunnier hours,
    Thy Winter shall no more depart;
    No Spring revive thy wasted flowers,
    Nor Summer warm thy frozen heart.

  19. Indian Summer

    Indian Summer, Vermont
    by Willard Metcalf
    by Emily Dickinson. An Indian summer is a period of warm weather feeling like summer that occurs in autumn, usually after there has already been a plant killing frost. Emily Dickinson describes the condition in this poem about fall.

    These are the days when birds come back,
    A very few, a bird or two,
    To take a backward look.

    These are the days when skies put on
    The old, old sophistries of June, —
    A blue and gold mistake.

    Oh, fraud that cannot cheat the bee,
    Almost thy plausibility
    Induces my belief,

    Till ranks of seed their witness bear,
    And softly through the altered air
    Hurries a timid leaf!
    Oh, sacrament of summer days,
    Oh, last communion in the haze,
    Permit a child to join,

    Thy sacred emblems to partake,
    Thy consecrated bread to break,
    Taste thine immortal wine!

  20. The Indian Summer

    by John Brainard

    What is there sadd'ning in the Autumn leaves?
    Have they that "green and yellow melancholy"
    That the sweet poet spake of? Had he seen
    Our variegated woods, when first the frost
    Turns into beauty all October's charms—
    When the dread fever quits us—when the storms
    Of the wild Equinox, with all its wet,
    Has left the land, as the first deluge left it,
    With a bright bow of many colours hung
    Upon the forest tops—he had not sigh'd.

    The moon stays longest for the Hunter now:
    The trees cast down their fruitage, and the blithe
    And busy squirrel hoards his winter store:
    While man enjoys the breeze that sweeps along
    The bright blue sky above him, and that bends
    Magnificently all the forest's pride,
    Or whispers through the evergreens, and asks,
    "What is there sadd'ning in the Autumn leaves?"

  21. Indian Summer

    by Ellen P. Allerton

    Again the leaves come fluttering down,
    Slowly, silently, one by one,—
    Scarlet, and crimson, and gold, and brown,—
    Willing to fall, for their work is done,

    And once again comes the dreamy haze,
    Draping the hills with its filmy blue,
    And veiling the sun, whose tender rays,
    With mellowed light come shimmering through.

    Softly it rests on the sleeping lake—
    This fllmy veil—and the distant shore,
    Fringed with tangles of brush and brake,
    Shows a dim blue line and nothing more.

    The winds are asleep, save now and then
    Some wandering breeze comes stealing by,
    Softly rises, then sinks again,
    And dies away like an infant's sigh.

    You feel the spell of those dreamy days
    I know—for your soul is in tune with mine.
    You love the stillness, the tender haze;
    I know—for your thoughts with my own entwine.

    But this dreamy calm, this solemn hush,
    The sleeping winds, and the mellow glow,
    Only foretell the tempest's rush,
    The icy blast, and whirling snow.

    We—you and I—must bow to the frost,
    When our locks are white with hoary kiss;
    Our last rose scattered, its petals lost,
    May our Indian summer be calm—like this.

  22. Autumn

    by Bliss Carman

    Now when the time of fruit and grain is come
    When apples hang above the orchard wall,
    And from the tangle by the roadside stream
    A scent of wild grapes fills the racy air,
    Comes Autumn with her sunburnt caravan,
    Like a long gypsy train with trappings gay
    And tattered colors of the Orient,
    Moving slow-footed through the dreamy hills.
    The woods of Wilton at her coming wear
    Tints of Bokhara and of Samarcand;
    The maples glow with their Pompeian red,
    The hickories with burnt Etruscan gold;
    And while the crickets fife along her march,
    Behind her banners burns the crimson sun.

  23. Autumn

    by Adelaide Crapsey

    Fugitive, wistful,
    Pausing at edge of her going,
    Autumn the maiden turns,
    Leans to the earth with ineffable
    Gesture. Ah, more than
    Spring's skies her skies shine
    Tender, and frailer
    Bloom than plum-bloom or almond
    Lies on her hillsides, her fields

    Misted, faint-flushing. Ah, lovelier
    Is her refusal than
    Yielding, who pauses with grave
    Backward smiling, with light
    Unforgettable touch of
    Fingers withdrawn…Pauses, lo
    Vanishes…fugitive, wistful…

  24. Merry Autumn

    by Laurence Dunbar

    It's all a farce, — these tales they tell
    About the breezes sighing,
    And moans astir o'er field and dell,
    Because the year is dying.

    Such principles are most absurd, —
    I care not who first taught 'em;
    There's nothing known to beast or bird
    To make a solemn autumn.

    In solemn times, when grief holds sway
    With countenance distressing,
    You'll note the more of black and gray
    Will then be used in dressing.

    Now purple tints are all around;
    The sky is blue and mellow;
    And e'en the grasses turn the ground
    From modest green to yellow.

    The seed burrs all with laughter crack
    On featherweed and jimson;
    And leaves that should be dressed in black
    Are all decked out in crimson.

    A butterfly goes winging by;
    A singing bird comes after;
    And Nature, all from earth to sky,
    Is bubbling o'er with laughter.

    The ripples wimple on the rills,
    Like sparkling little lasses;
    The sunlight runs along the hills,
    And laughs among the grasses.

    The earth is just so full of fun
    It really can't contain it;
    And streams of mirth so freely run
    The heavens seem to rain it.

    Don't talk to me of solemn days
    In autumn's time of splendor,
    Because the sun shows fewer rays,
    And these grow slant and slender.

    Why, it's the climax of the year,—
    The highest time of living!—
    Till naturally its bursting cheer
    Just melts into thanksgiving.

  25. Autumn

    by Thomas Hood

    The autumn is old;
    The sear leaves are flying;
    He hath gathered up gold
    And now he is dying:
    Old age, begin sighing!

    The vintage is ripe; The harvest is heaping; But some that have sowed Have no riches for reaping:— Poor wretch, fall a-weeping!

    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.

    The rivers run chill; The red sun is sinking; And I am grown old, And life is fast shrinking; Here's enow for sad thinking!

  26. At Home

    by Emily Dickinson

    The night was wide, and furnished scant
    With but a single star,
    That often as a cloud it met
    Blew out itself for fear.

    The wind pursued the little bush,
    And drove away the leaves
    November left; then clambered up
    And fretted in the eaves.

    No squirrel went abroad;
    A dog's belated feet
    Like intermittent plush were heard
    Adown the empty street.

    To feel if blinds be fast,
    And closer to the fire
    Her little rocking-chair to draw,
    And shiver for the poor,

    The housewife's gentle task.
    "How pleasanter," said she
    Unto the sofa opposite,
    "The sleet than May — no thee!"

  27. Autumn Days

    by Will Carleton

    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!

    Shivering, quivering, tearful days,
    Fretfully and sadly weeping;
    Dreading still, with anxious gaze,
    Icy fetters round thee creeping;
    O'er the cheerless, withered plain,
    Woefully and hoarsely calling;
    Pelting hail and drenching rain
    On thy scanty vestments falling.
    Sad and mournful are thy ways,
    Grieving, wailing, Autumn days!

  28. Lines for a Picture

    by Bliss Carman

    When the leaves are flying
    Across the azure sky,
    Autumn on the hill top
    Turns to say good-by;

    In her gold-red tunic,
    Like an Eastern queen,
    With untarnished courage
    In her wilding mien.

    All the earth below her
    Answers to her gaze,
    And her eyes are pensive
    With remembered days.

    Yet, with cheek ensanguined,
    Gay at heart she goes
    On the great adventure
    Where the north wind blows.

  29. The Ghost-yard of the Goldenrod

    by Bliss Carman

    When the first silent frost has trod
    The ghost-yard of the goldenrod,

    And laid the blight of his cold hand
    Upon the warm autumnal land,

    And all things wait the subtle change
    That men call death, is it not strange

    That I —without a care or need,
    Who only am an idle weed —

    Should wait unmoved, so frail, so bold,
    The coming of the final cold!

  30. When the Frost is on the Punkin

    by James Whitcomb Riley

    When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock,
    And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin’ turkey-cock,
    And the clackin’ of the guineys, and the cluckin’ of the hens,
    And the rooster’s hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;
    O, it’s then’s the times a feller is a-feelin’ at his best,
    With the risin’ sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,
    As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock,
    When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.

    They’s something kindo’ harty-like about the atmusfere
    When the heat of summer’s over and the coolin’ fall is here—
    Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossums on the trees,
    And the mumble of the hummin’-birds and buzzin’ of the bees;
    But the air’s so appetizin’; and the landscape through the haze
    Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
    Is a pictur’ that no painter has the colorin’ to mock—
    When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.

    The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn,
    And the raspin’ of the tangled leaves, as golden as the morn;
    The stubble in the furries—kindo’ lonesome-like, but still
    A-preachin’ sermuns to us of the barns they growed to fill;
    The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed;
    The hosses in theyr stalls below—the clover over-head!—
    O, it sets my hart a-clickin’ like the tickin’ of a clock,
    When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock!

    Then your apples all is gethered, and the ones a feller keeps
    Is poured around the celler-floor in red and yeller heaps;
    And your cider-makin’ ’s over, and your wimmern-folks is through
    With their mince and apple-butter, and theyr souse and saussage, too! ...
    I don’t know how to tell it—but ef sich a thing could be
    As the Angels wantin’ boardin’, and they’d call around on me—
    I’d want to ’commodate ’em—all the whole-indurin’ flock—
    When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock!

  31. Fall Activities

  32. The End of Wood Cutting

    by William Francis Barnard

    Red leaf and yellow leaf
    Are flaunting through the air;
    The paths are rustling underfoot,
    The sun is everywhere.
    Bright creepers clasp the rugged wood
    Of many a hardy tree;
    The squirrel stores his winter nuts
    And chatters in his glee.
    The ripened year is done at last;
    The fuel is at home.
    One song for joyous seasons past
    And happy days to come,
    My friends,
    And happy days to come!

    Come build a fire upon the ground,
    And let the wine flow free;
    Make smooth a place where we may sit
    And raise our revelry.
    The sun will hasten to the west,
    But we have naught to care:
    With meat and drink we need no more,
    Save that the night be fair.
    Beach wood and chestnut wood;
    Make a cheerful blaze.
    Forget the bad and praise the good.
    Here's joy and many days,
    My friends,
    Here's joy and many days!

  33. Popping Corn

    Indian Corn and Mexican Vase
    by Cordelia Wilson
    by Anonymous. This old favorite among fall poems was featured in the famous McGuffey's Eclectic Readers. A warm and homey classic describing an autumn scene by the hearth, it is a great poem for children.

    One autumn night, when the wind was high,
    And the rain fell in heavy plashes,
    A little boy sat by the kitchen fire,
    A-popping corn in the ashes;
    And his sister, a curly-haired child of three,
    Sat looking on, just close to his knee....

    Pop! pop! and the kernels, one by one,
    Came out of the embers flying;
    The boy held a long pine stick in his hand,
    And kept it busily plying;
    He stirred the corn, and it snapped the more,
    And faster jumped to the clean-swept floor.

    Part of the kernels flew one way,
    And a part hopped out the other;
    Some flew plump into the sister's lap,
    Some under the stool of the brother;
    The little girl gathered them into a heap,
    And called them a flock of milk-white sheep.

  34. Fall Scenery

  35. Color-Fires

    by Caroline Davenport Swan

    September kindles the flame
    From an August sun;
    A burning-glass in her snow-white hand,
    Imperial grace of wide command,
    Lo! the blaze begun!―
    And Love, he watches the stately dame;
    His fires are kindled much the same.

    October feedeth the flame,―
    How it laughs and roars!―
    With ruddy maples, and elms that burn,
    And orange masses of sunlit fern,
    His golden stores.
    But Love remembers a fiercer claim;
    "My fires," quoth he, "put thine to shame."

    November buries the coals
    I' the sodden grass.
    His tremulous fingers all a-cold,
    He shivers across the silvery wold,
    As shadows pass.
    And Love is flying!―A sweet bell tolls.―
    O heap of ashes! O weary souls!

  36. Autumn Blue Mist

    by Hilda Conkling

    This is night's own trailing wind
    That goes by in blue mist
    When morning wakes.
    This is not smoke from chimneys,
    No fire breathes and puffs it out
    Across the sun.
    This is autumn on an October morning . . .
    Early hills,
    Fields in a veil.

  37. Sunset in Autumn

    by Madison Cawein

    Blood-coloured oaks, that stand against a sky of gold and brass;
    Gaunt slopes, on which the bleak leaves glow of brier and sassafras,
    And broom-sedge strips of smoky-pink and pearl—gray clumps of grass
    In which, beneath the ragged sky, the rain pools gleam like glass.

    From West to East, from wood to wood, along the forest-side,
    The winds,—the sowers of the Lord,—with thunderous footsteps stride;
    Their stormy hands rain acorns down; and mad leaves, wildly dyed,
    Like tatters of their rushing cloaks, stream round them far and wide.

    The frail leaf-cricket in the weeds rings a faint fairy bell;
    And like a torch of phantom ray the milkweed's windy shell
    Glimmers; while, wrapped in withered dreams, the wet autumnal smell
    Of loam and leaf, like some sad ghost, steals over field and dell.

    The oaks, against a copper sky—o'er which, like some black lake
    Of Dis, bronze clouds, like surges fringed with sullen fire, break—
    Loom sombre as Doom's citadel above the vales that make
    A pathway to a land of mist the moon's pale feet shall take.

    Now, dyed with burning carbuncle, a limbo-litten pane,
    Within its walls of storm, the West opens to hill and plain,
    On which the wild-geese ink themselves, a far triangled train,
    And then the shuttering clouds close down—and night is here again.

  38. Autumn Birds

    Ducks and Other Birds about a Stream in an Italianate Landscape
    by Francis Barlov
    by John Clare. Clare, a rural Englishman of the 19th century, was an astute observer of nature. He frequently described flora and fauna in vivid detail. This he does once again, in this poem about fall birds.

    The wild duck startles like a sudden thought,
    And heron slow as if it might be caught.
    The flopping crows on weary wings go by
    And grey beard jackdaws noising as they fly.
    The crowds of starnels whizz and hurry by,
    And darken like a clod the evening sky.
    The larks like thunder rise and suthy round,
    Then drop and nestle in the stubble ground.
    The wild swan hurries hight and noises loud
    With white neck peering to the evening clowd.
    The weary rooks to distant woods are gone.
    With lengths of tail the magpie winnows on
    To neighbouring tree, and leaves the distant crow
    While small birds nestle in the edge below.

  39. Autumn

    The North Side of Hook Mountainby Sanford Gifford
    by John Clare. Clare lends us his characteristically nature-bent eye for the world around him in this fall poem.

    The thistledown's flying, though the winds are all still,
    On the green grass now lying, now mounting the hill,
    The spring from the fountain now boils like a pot;
    Through stones past the counting it bubbles red-hot. ...

    The ground parched and cracked is like overbaked bread,
    The greensward all wracked is, bents dried up and dead.
    The fallow fields glitter like water indeed,
    And gossamers twitter, flung from weed unto weed.

    Hill-tops like hot iron glitter bright in the sun,
    And the rivers we're eying burn to gold as they run;
    Burning hot is the ground, liquid gold is the air;
    Whoever looks round sees Eternity there.

  40. To Autumn

    Spreewald-Idyll mit Kanal und Haus, Personen, Enten und Booten
    by H. Mohrmann
    by William Blake. A classic among autumn poems, To Autumn by William Blake, has stood the test of time.

    O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stainèd
    With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit
    Beneath my shady roof; there thou may'st 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....

    `The narrow bud opens her beauties to
    The sun, and love runs in her thrilling veins;
    Blossoms hang round the brows of Morning, and
    Flourish down the bright cheek of modest Eve,
    Till clust'ring Summer breaks forth into singing,
    And feather'd clouds strew flowers round her head.

    `The spirits of the air live on the smells
    Of fruit; and Joy, with pinions light, roves round
    The gardens, or sits singing in the trees.'
    Thus sang the jolly Autumn as he sat;
    Then rose, girded himself, and o'er the bleak
    Hills fled from our sight; but left his golden load.

  41. A Vagabond Song

    by Bliss Carman

    There is something in the autumn that is native to my blood —
    Touch of manner, hint of mood;
    And my heart is like a rhyme,
    With the yellow and the purple and the crimson keeping time....

    The scarlet of the maples can shake me like a cry
    Of bugles going by.
    And my lonely spirit thrills
    To see the frosty asters like a smoke upon the hills.

    There is something in October sets the gypsy blood astir;
    We must rise and follow her,
    When from every hill of flame
    She calls and calls each vagabond by name.

  42. To Autumn

    by John Keats

    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-eves run;
    To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
    And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
    To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
    With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
    And still more, later flowers for the bees,
    Until they think warm days will never cease,
    For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.

    Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
    Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
    Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
    Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
    Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
    Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
    Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
    And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
    Steady thy laden head across a brook;
    Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
    Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

    Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
    Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
    While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
    And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
    Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
    Among the river sallows, borne aloft
    Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
    And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
    Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
    The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
    And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

  43. The Fall Wind

    by John Stuart Thompson

    The wind has stalked adown the garden path,
    And blown the lights of all the poor flowers out;
    From maple wood I hear his stormy shout;
    The russet leaves take flight before his wrath;
    In stubble fields and clover-aftermath,
    The wreckage of the year is strewn around;
    The mottled asters lie upon the ground.
    Of all the bloom, the tyrant north wind hath

    Left only golden-rod, in saffron rows,—
    And these, with bulging cheeks, he blows and blows,
    Until they glow, and mingle with the west,
    When setting suns lean low upon the land,
    And songless birds, in cheerless plumage dressed.
    Wing south or somewhere; mute, discouraged band.

  44. To Autumn

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    By the sorrowfu' look o' the hill an' the glen,
    A' stripp'd o' the pride o' the simmer again,
    I ken ye hae come wi' your hoarse, rude breath,
    And pit the green grass an' sweet flowers a' to death.

    Ye wad nae gie a drop o' bright glistenin dew
    To soften the spot where the violet grew—
    An' drooping an' pale, she has pillow'd her head
    Mid your cauld, cauld frost, on her hard death-bed.

    The bird wi' her sang, ye hae bidden to flee
    Frae the comfortless branch o' the shiverin tree;
    While, restless an' harmless, the yellow leaves fly
    'Twixt the dool o' the earth and the scowl o' the sky!

    Ye hae torn the fond tendrils, that closely wad twine
    To baud up their parent the languishin vine,
    An', there's nae a sweet thing the mild simmer could cherish,
    But your sharp fingers nip, till ye ken it maun perish.

    An', when ye hae finished your pitiless doins,
    An' the fields are a' scattered wi' death an' wi' ruins,
    Cauld winter will come, wi' his snaw an' his sleet,
    To hide them frae sight wi' a white windin-sheet.

    How mickle to man are misfortune an' grief,
    Like yoursel to the earth, when ye part branch an' leaf!
    For when the cauld blasts o' adversity blaw,
    Every sweet flower o' joy frae his bosom maun fa'.

    Wi' care he is wasted, an' weary, an' worn—
    The ties o' affection are loosened an' torn,
    Till the spark o' his life, 'mid the ruins, will fail,
    An' his ashes are gien to the clods o' the vale.

    Yet, he may go down in full hope o' the dawn,
    Ayont the dark tomb, o' eternity's morn;
    Where your stern chillin features nae mair will be seen,
    An' the flowers are a' deathless—the fields ever green.

  45. Autumn Woods

    by William Cullen Bryant

    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 strewn
    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 mad—the tug for wealth and power,
    The passions and the cares that wither life,
    And waste its little hour.

  46. Autumn Noon

    by George Hill

    All was so still that I could almost count
    The tinklings of the falling leaves. At times,
    Perchance, a nut was heard to drop, and then—
    As if it had slipp'd from him as he struck
    The meat—a squirrel's short and fretful bark.
    Anon, a troop of noisy, roving jays,
    Whisking their gaudy topknots, would surprise
    And seize upon the top of some tall tree,
    Shrieking, as if on purpose to enjoy
    The consternation of the noontide stillness.

    Roused by the din, the squirrel from his hole,
    Like some grave justice bent to keep the peace,
    Thrust his gray pate, much wondering what it meant
    And squatted near me on a stone, there bask'd
    A fly of larger breed and o'ergrown bulk,
    In the warm sunshine, vain of his green coat
    Of variable velvet laced with gold,
    That, ever and anon, would whisk about,
    Vexing the stillness with his buzzing din,
    As human fopling will do with his talk:
    And o'er the mossy post of an old fence,
    Lured from its crannies by the warmth, was spied
    A swarm of gay motes waltzing to a tune
    Of their own humming: quiet sounds, that serve
    More deeply to impress us with a sense
    Of silent loneliness and trackless ways.

  47. "The Dead Leaves Strow the Forest Walk"

    by John Brainard

    "The dead leaves strow the forest walk,
    And wither'd are the pale wild-flowers;
    The frost hangs blackening on the stalk,
    The dewdrops fall in frozen showers.
    Gone are the spring's green sprouting bowers,
    Gone summer's rich and mantling vines,
    And Autumn, with her yellow hours,
    On hill and plain no longer shines.

    I learn'd a clear and wild-toned note,
    That rose and swell'd from yonder tree.
    A gay bird, with too sweet a throat,
    There perch'd and raised her song for me.
    The winter comes, and where is she?
    Away—where summer wings will rove,
    Where buds are fresh, and every tree
    Is vocal with the notes of love.

    Too mild the breath of southern sky,
    Too fresh the flower that blushes there,
    The northern breeze that rustles by,
    Finds leaves too green and buds too fair;
    No forest-tree stands stripp'd and bare,
    No stream beneath the ice is dead,
    No mountain-top, with sleety hair,
    Bends o'er the snows its reverend head.

    Go there with all the birds, and seek
    A happier clime, with livelier flight,
    Kiss, with the sun, the evening's cheek,
    And leave me lonely with the night.
    I'll gaze upon the cold north light,
    And mark where all its glories shone—
    See!—that it all is fair and bright,
    Feel—that it all is cold and gone."

  48. Trees in Autumn

    by John Jay Chapman

    The poets have made Autumn sorrowful;
    I find her joyous, radiant, serene.
    Her pomp is hung in a deep azure sky
    That turns about the world by day and night,
    Nor loses its bright charm.
    And when the trees resign their foliage,
    Loosing their leaves upon the cradling air
    As liberally as if they ne'er had owned them,—
    They show the richer for the nakedness
    That weds them with the clarity of heav'n.

  49. Hope and Despair

    To me the autumn is never drear,
    It bears the glory of hopes fulfilled.

    – Arthur Weir
    Hope and Despair
    by Arthur Weir

    You love the sun and the languid breeze
    That gently kisses the rosebud's lips,
    And delight to see
    How the dainty bee,
    Stilling his gauze-winged melodies
    Into the lily's chalice dips.

    I love the wind that unceasing roars,
    While cringe the trees from its wrath in vain,
    And the lightning-flash,
    And the thunder-crash,
    And skies, from whose Erebus depths outpours
    In slanting drifts the autumnal rain.

    You sigh to find that the time is here
    When leaves are falling from bush and tree;
    When the flowerets sweet
    Die beneath our feet,
    And feebly totters the dying year
    Into the mists of eternity.

    To me the autumn is never drear,
    It bears the glory of hopes fulfilled.
    Though the flowers be dead,
    There are seeds instead,
    That, with the spring of the dawning year,
    With life will find all their being thrilled.

    You tread the wood, and the wind behold
    Tear down the leaves from the crackling bough
    Till they make a pall,
    As they thickly fall,
    To hide dead flowers. The air seems cold,
    No summer gladdens the forest now.

    I tread the maze of the changing wood,
    And though no light through the maples plays,
    Yet they glow each one,
    Like a rose-red sun,
    And drop their leaves, like a glittering flood
    Of warm sunbeams, in the woodland ways.

    Poor human heart, in the year of life
    All seasons are, and it rests with thee
    To enjoy them all,
    Or to drape a pall
    O'er withered hopes, and to be at strife
    With things that are, and no brightness see.

  50. Autumn

    by Kate Slaughter McKinney

    Who is it that paints the woodlands
    Like a gorgeous gown of gold;
    Dropping, here and there, a ripple
    Of vermilion in each fold?
    Who is it that calls the robins
    And the blackbirds into bands;
    Pointing them with flaming fingers,
    To the sunny, Southern lands?

    What has scorched the tender blossoms?
    In our yards they’re dying now.
    Do you know who kissed the apple
    Till it reddened on the bough?
    Why so mute the little streamlet?
    Down the hill it used to leap;
    Now I faintly hear it sobbing—
    Sobbing out like one in sleep.

    Leaden clouds lay on the heavens,
    Like a burden on the heart;
    And the winds together whisper,
    Sad as loved ones ere they part.
    Then anon a dreamy dullness
    Hovers over sky and earth;
    Ah! my soul reflects the sadness,
    And I seek my friendly hearth.

    You who love the Indian summer,
    So renowned by pen and art,
    Go, and revel in the gloaming,
    While so sadly pants my heart.
    But I can not watch the leaflets,
    On the whirlwind as they ride,
    For just so a hectic river
    Bore my darling from my side.

  51. The Passing Year

    by Mathilde Blind

    No breath of wind stirs in the painted leaves,
    The meadows are as stirless as the sky,
    Like a Saint's halo golden vapours lie
    Above the restful valley's garnered sheaves.
    The journeying Sun, like one who fondly grieves,
    Above the hills seems loitering with a sigh,
    As loth to bid the fruitful earth good-bye,
    On these hushed hours of luminous autumn eves.

    There is a pathos in his softening glow,
    Which like a benediction seems to hover
    O'er the tranced earth, ere he must sink below
    And leave her widowed of her radiant Lover,
    A frost-bound sleeper in a shroud of snow
    While winter winds howl a wild dirge above her.

  52. Birds in Autumn

    by Lydia Sigourney

    November came on, with an eye severe,
    And his stormy language, was hoarse to hear,
    And the glittering garland, of brown and red,
    Which he wreath'd for awhile, round the forest's head,
    In sudden anger he rent away,
    And all was cheerless, and bare, and grey.

    Then the houseless grasshopper told his woes,
    And the humming-bird sent forth a wail for the rose,
    And the spider, that weaver, of cunning so deep,
    Roll'd himself up, in a ball, to sleep,
    And the cricket his merry horn laid by,
    On the shelf with the pipe of the dragon-fly.

    Soon voices were heard, at the morning prime,
    Consulting of flight, to a warmer clime,
    "Let us go! let us go!" said the bright-wing'd jay,
    And his grey spouse sang from a rocking spray
    "I am tir'd to death of this hum-drum tree,
    I'll go, if 'tis only this world to see."

    "Will you go," ask'd the robin, "my only love?"
    And a tender strain from the leafless grove
    Responded, "wherever your lot is cast,
    Mid sunny skies, or the wintry blast,
    I am still at your side, your heart to cheer,
    Though dear is our nest, in this thicket here."

    "I am ready to go, cried the plump young wren,
    From the hateful homes of these northern men,
    My throat is sore, and my feet are blue,
    I fear I have caught the consumption too,
    And the Oriole told with a flashing eye,
    How his plumage was spoil'd by the frosty sky.

    Then up went the thrush, with a trumpet-call, [wall,]
    And the martins came forth from their box on the
    And the owlets peep'd out from their secret bower,
    And the swallows conven'd on the old church tower,
    And the council of blackbirds was long and loud,
    Chattering and flying from tree to cloud.

    "The dahlia is dead on her throne," said they,
    And we saw the butterfly, cold as clay,
    Not a berry is found on the russet plains,
    Not a kernel of ripen'd maize remains,
    Every worm is hid, shall we longer stay,
    To be wasted with famine, away! away!"

    But what a strange clamour on elm and oak,
    From a bevy of brown-coated mocking-birds broke!
    The theme of each separate speaker they told,
    In a shrill report, with such mimickry bold,
    That the eloquent orators stared to hear,
    Their own true echoes, so wild and clear.

    Then tribe after tribe, with its leader fair,
    Swept off, through the fathomless depth of air;
    Who maketh their course to the tropics bright?
    Who nervcth their wing for its weary flight?
    Who guideth that caravan's trackless way,
    By the stars at night, and the cloud by day?

    The Indian fig with its arching screen,
    Welcomes them in, to its vistas green
    And the breathing buds of the spicy tree,
    Thrill at the burst of their revelry,
    And the bulbul starts, 'mid his carol clear,
    Such a rushing of stranger-wings to hear.

    O wild-wood wanderers! how far away
    From your rural homes in our vales ye stray;
    But when they are wak'd by the touch of Spring,
    We shall see you again with your glancing wing,
    Your nests 'mid our household trees to raise,
    And stir our hearts in our Maker's praise.

  53. Autumn

    by Ed Blair

    Turning to gold are the leaves,
    Autumn, sad Autumn is here,
    Over the scene my heart grieves,
    For we have lost summer's cheer.
    Rustling and eddying down,
    Filling the hollows below,
    Leaves that gave summer renown
    Now to their wintry beds go.

    Sad and alone now, I tread
    Paths that in June were deep bowers,
    Looking in vain for the red
    And the pink of the beautiful flowers,
    List'ning in vain for the song
    Of the thrush and the dear whip-poor-will.
    Flown is the joyous gay throng,
    Flown, and the woodlands are still.

    Over the river so still
    The eddying gusts slowly stray,
    Once summer's breath—now a chill
    Comes with their passing today,
    And though the sun's rays now kiss
    The beds of the flowers so dear,
    Summer, sweet summer we miss,
    Autumn, sad Autumn is here.

    So is the Autumn of life;
    Flowers are dead that once bloomed,
    Hopes in our hearts that were rife,
    Now by the years are entombed.
    And o'er the pathway of years,
    Guided by memory's tread,
    We wander again in our tears,
    'Tis Autumn—Sweet Summer is dead.

  54. An Autumn Picture

    by Ellen P. Allerton

    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 thresher's hum:
    And many a shout and many a laugh
    Come breaking through the clouds of chaff.

    The brook glides toward the sleeping lake,
    Now bubbling over shining stones
    Now under clumps of brush and brake,
    Hushing its brawls 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 be stark and dead—
    No matter, so the hearth be bright
    When household faces meet at night.

  55. Autumn Musings

    by George Lunt

    Come thou with me! If thou hast worn away
    All this most glorious summer in the crowd,
    Amid the dust of cities, and the din,
    While birds were carolling on every spray;
    If, from gray dawn to solemn night's approach,
    Thy soul hath wasted all its better thoughts,
    Toiling and panting for a little gold;
    Drudging amid the very lees of life
    For this accursed slave that makes men slaves;
    Come thou with me into the pleasant fields,
    Let Nature breathe on us and make us free!

    For thou shalt hold communion, pure and high,
    With the great Spirit of the Universe;
    It shall pervade thy soul; it shall renew
    The fancies of thy boyhood: thou shalt know
    Tears, most unwonted tears dimming thine eyes;
    Thou shalt forget, under the old brown oak,
    That the good south-wind and the liberal west
    Have other tidings than the songs of birds,
    Or the soft news wafted from fragrant flowers.
    Look out on Nature's face, and what hath she
    In common with thy feelings? That brown hill,
    Upon whose sides, from the gray mountain ash,
    We gather'd crimson berries, look'd as brown
    When the leaves fell twelve autumn suns ago;
    This pleasant stream, with the well-shaded verge,
    On whose fair surface have our buoyant limbs
    So often play'd, caressing and caress'd;
    Its verdant banks are green as then they were,
    So went its bubbling murmur down the tide.
    Yes, and the very trees, those ancient oaks,
    The crimson-crested maple, feathery elm,
    And fair, smooth ash, with leaves of graceful gold,
    Look like familiar faces of old friends.

    From their broad branches drop the wither'd leaves
    Drop, one by one, without a single breath,
    Save when some eddying curl round the old roots
    Twirls them about in merry sport a while.
    They are not changed; their office is not done;
    The first soft breeze of spring shall see them fresh
    With sprouting twigs bursting from every branch,
    As should fresh feelings from our wither'd hearts.
    Scorn not the moral; for, while these have warm'd
    To annual beauty, gladdening the fields
    With new and ever-glorious garniture,
    Thou hast grown worn and wasted, almost gray
    Even in thy very summer. 'Tis for this
    We have neglected nature! Wearing out
    Our hearts and all life's dearest charities
    In the perpetual turmoil, when we need
    To strengthen and to purify our minds
    Amid the venerable woods; to hold
    Chaste converse with the fountains and the winds!
    So should we elevate our souls; so be
    Ready to stand and act a nobler part
    In the hard, heartless struggles of the world.

    Day wanes; 'tis autumn eventide again;
    And, sinking on the blue hills' breast, the sun
    Spreads the large bounty of his level blaze,
    Lengthening the shades of mountains and tall trees,
    And throwing blacker shadows o'er the sheet
    Of this dark stream, in whose unruffled tide
    Waver the bank-shrub and the graceful elm,
    As the gay branches and their trembling leaves
    Catch the soft whisper of the coming air:
    So doth it mirror every passing cloud,
    And those which fill the chambers of the west
    With such strange beauty, fairer than all thrones,
    Blazon'd with orient gems and barbarous gold.
    I see thy full heart gathering in thine eyes:
    I see those eyes swelling with precious tears;
    But, if thou couldst have look'd upon this scene
    With a cold brow, and then turn'd back to thoughts
    Of traffic in thy fellow's wretchedness,
    Thou wert not fit to gaze upon the face
    Of Nature's naked beauty; most unfit
    To look on fairer things, the loveliness
    Of earth's most lovely daughters, whose glad forms
    And glancing eyes do kindle the great souls
    Of better men to emulate pure thoughts,
    And, in high action, all ennobling deeds.

    But lo! the harvest moon! She climbs as fair
    Among the cluster'd jewels of the sky,
    As, mid the rosy bowers of paradise,
    Her soft light, trembling upon leaf and flower,
    Smiled o'er the slumbers of the first-born man.
    And, while her beauty is upon our hearts,
    Now let us seek our quiet home, that sleep
    May come without bad dreams; may come as light
    As to that yellow-headed cottage-boy,
    Whose serious musings, as he homeward drives
    His sober herd, are of the frosty dawn,
    And the ripe nuts which his own hand shall pluck.
    Then, when the bird, high-courier of the morn,
    Looks from his airy vantage o'er the world,
    And, by the music of his mounting flight,
    Tells many blessed things of gushing gold,
    Coming in floods o'er the eastern wave,
    Will we arise, and our pure orisons
    Shall keep us in the trials of the day.

  56. Autumn Days

    by W. E. Hutchinson

    When bright-hued leaves from tree and thicket fall,
    And on the ground their autumn carpet strew;
    And overhead the wild geese honking call,
    In wedge-shaped column, high amid the blue;

    When from the sagebrush, and from mountain high,
    The quail's soft note reechoes far and wide;
    When hunter moon hangs crescent in the sky,
    And wild deer range on rugged mountain side;

    When old primeval instincts, nature born,
    Stir in the hunter's blood with lust to kill,
    And drive him forth with dog and gun, at morn,
    To sheltered blind, or runway 'neath the hill—

    All these proclaim the glorious autumn days,
    When Nature spends her wealth with lavish hand,
    And o'er the landscape spreads a purple haze,
    And waves her magic scepter o'er the land.

  57. Autumn

    by Elizabeth Madox Roberts

    Dick and Will and Charles and I
    Were playing it was election day,
    And I was running for president,
    And Dick was a band that was going to play,

    And Charles and Will were a street parade,
    But Clarence came and said that he
    Was going to run for president,
    And I could run for school-trustee.

    He made some flags for Charles and Will
    And a badge to go on Dickie's coat.
    He stood some cornstalks by the fence
    And had them for the men that vote.

    Then he climbed on a box and made a speech
    To the cornstalk men that were in a row
    It was all about the dem-o-crats,
    And "I de-fy any man to show."

    And "I de-fy any man to say."
    And all about "It's a big disgrace."
    He spoke his speech out very loud
    And shook his fist in a cornstalk's face.

  58. The Autumn Wind

    by Annette Wynne

    The autumn wind is wild and free,
    It rides up here fresh from the sea;
    It rides and rides and never knows
    Just where it goes;
    It blew my papers all away
    And acted boldly all the day;
    But when the night grew dark and colder,
    The autumn wind grew bold and bolder,
    And tried to blow our chimney down,
    And screamed at every house in town.

  59. The Season in the Country

    by Alonzo Jackson Grover

    I love to muse these pensive days,
    The Indian summer through,
    And climb the hills and tread the ways
    In boyhood's haunts anew.

    A thousand voices of the air,
    The sea, the earth, the sky,
    Enchanting whisper to me there,
    Like spirits from on high.

    The falling leaves speak mournfully,
    The fading flowers sigh;
    The sea pours forth grand minstrelsy,
    Benignant smiles the sky.

    The beauteous hills bedeck themselves
    In scarlet, gray and gold;
    Green laurel droops and ivy clings
    O'er cragged rocks and old.

    The mountains rise in grandeur up
    Above the ocean's beds,
    And sombre clouds their curtains loop
    In beauty round their heads.

    The birds ring out their parting songs,
    The brooks run laughing by,
    The squirrels in the chestnut woods
    Gather their stores on high.

    The speckled trout and darting pike
    In shallow waters spawn;
    The bobolink's metallic notes
    Are tinkling in the lawn.

    The farmer in the orchard shakes
    The golden apples down,
    Or in the meadow ample ricks
    Of gathered hay will crown.

    The partridge on his drumming log
    The listening sportsman hears;
    And lo! a musket's sharp report,
    Resounding, strikes my ears.

    I see and hear all these, and more,
    Through autumn's dreamy haze,
    And long to drop the added years
    Since childhood's happy days.

  60. Autumn Fields

    by Elizabeth Madox Roberts

    He said his legs were stiff and sore
    For he had gone some twenty-eight miles,
    And he'd walked through by watergaps
    And fences and gates and stiles.

    He said he'd been by Logan's woods,
    And up by Walton's branch and Simms,
    And there were sticktights on his clothes
    And little dusts of seeds and stems.

    And then he sat down on the steps,
    And he said the miles were on his feet.
    For some of that land was tangled brush,
    And some was plowed for wheat.

    The rabbits were thick where he had been,
    And he said he'd found some ripe papaws.
    He'd rested under a white oak tree,
    And for his dinner he ate red haws.

    Then I sat by him on the step
    To see the things that he had seen.
    And I could smell the shocks and clods,
    And the land where he had been.

  61. Autumn Play

    by Annette Wynne

    World, to-day you're red and gold,
    Who could call you sad or old?
    Who could say that autumn grieves!—
    See, she dances through the leaves
    Like a happy child at play
    On a golden holiday.
    Come out in the sun and see
    What a glorious child is she,
    Not a sad thought in her head,
    Radiant with gold and red—
    Autumn world of red and gold
    Who could call you sad or old?

  62. Leaves

    by Hilda Conkling

    In my apple-orchard
    In the oldest tree
    Fall has hidden gold leaves.
    I looked into the hollow
    And saw no apples,
    Only leaves with frost on them
    Like marble tilings,
    Like jeweled tables . . .
    Yet there was no gold . . . no marble . . .
    Only leaves covered with frost
    That sparkled the way my thought told me.

The yellow leaf, from the shivering tree,
On Autumn's blast is flying;

– Hannah Flagg Gould
The Musical Box

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