Archibald Lampman - In October




    Along the waste, a great way off, the pines,
    Like tall slim priests of storm, stand up and bar
    The low long strip of dolorous red that lines
    The under west, where wet winds moan afar.
    The cornfields all are brown, and brown the meadows
    With the blown leaves' wind-heapèd traceries,
    And the brown thistle stems that cast no shadows,
    And bear no bloom for bees.

    As slowly earthward leaf by red leaf slips,
    The sad trees rustle in chill misery,
    A soft strange inner sound of pain-crazed lips,
    That move and murmur incoherently;
    As if all leaves, that yet have breath, were sighing,
    With pale hushed throats, for death is at the door,
    So many low soft masses for the dying
    Sweet leaves that live no more.

    Here I will sit upon this naked stone,
    Draw my coat closer with my numbèd hands,
    And hear the ferns sigh, and the wet woods moan,
    And send my heart out to the ashen lands;
    And I will ask myself what golden madness,
    What balmèd breaths of dreamland spicery,
    What visions of soft laughter and light sadness
    Were sweet last month to me.

    The dry dead leaves flit by with thin wierd tunes,
    Like failing murmurs of some conquered creed,
    Graven in mystic markings with strange runes,
    That none but stars and biting winds may read;
    Here I will wait a little; I am weary,
    Not torn with pain of any lurid hue,
    But only still and very gray and dreary,
    Sweet sombre lands, like you.

Helen Hunt Jackson - November


Helen Hunt Jackson

This is the treacherous month when autumn days
With summer’s voice come bearing summer’s gifts.
Beguiled, the pale down-trodden aster lifts
Her head and blooms again. The soft, warm haze
Makes moist once more the sere and dusty ways,
And, creeping through where dead leaves lie in drifts,
The violet returns. Snow noiseless sifts
Ere night, an icy shroud, which morning’s rays
Will idly shine upon and slowly melt,
Too late to bid the violet live again.
The treachery, at last, too late, is plain;
Bare are the places where the sweet flowers dwelt.
What joy sufficient hath November felt?
What profit from the violet’s day of pain?

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow - In Autumn

With what a glory comes and goes the year!
The buds of spring, those beautiful harbingers
Of sunny skies and cloudless times, enjoy
Life’s newness, and earth’s garniture spread out;
And when the silver habit of the clouds
Comes down upon the autumn sun, and with
A sober gladness the old year takes up
His bright inheritance of golden fruits,
A pomp and pageant fill the splendid scene.

There is a beautiful spirit breathing now
Its mellow richness on the clustered trees,
And, from a beaker full of richest dyes,
Pouring new glory on the autumn woods,
And dipping in warm light the pillared clouds.
Morn on the mountain, like a summer bird,
Lifts up her purple wing, and in the vales
The gentle wind, a sweet and passionate wooer,
Kisses the blushing leaf, and stirs up life
Within the solemn woods of ash deep-crimsoned,
And silver beech, and maple yellow-leaved,
Where Autumn, like a faint old man, sits down

John Clare - Autumn

3. John Clare


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. 

D.H. Lawrence - At The Window

The pine-trees bend to listen to the autumn wind as it mutters. Something which sets the black poplars ashake with hysterical laughter; while slowly the house of day is closing its eastern shutters. 

Further down the valley the clustered tombstones recede. Winding about their dimness the mist's gray cerements, after the street lamps in the darkness have suddenly started to bleed.

The leaves fly over the window and utter a word as they pass to the face that leans from the darkness, intent, with two dark-filled eyes that watch for ever earnestly from behind the window glass." - D. H, Lawrence