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Among the stubbled corn
The blithe quail pipes at morn,
The merry partridge drums in hidden places,
Above the reedy stream,
Where busy spiders spin their filmy laces.
At eve, cool shadows fall
And on the clustered grapes to purple turning;
Along the eastern sky,
Where the broad harvest-moon is redly burning.
Ah, soon on field and hill
The winds shall whistle chill,
And patriarch swallows call their flocks together To fly from frost and snow,
And seek for lands where blow
The fairer blossoms of a balmier weather.
The pollen-dusted bees
Search for the honey-lees
That linger in the last flowers of September,
Coo sadly to their loves
Of the dead summer they so well remember.
The cricket chirps all day,
“O fairest summer, stay!”
The squirrel eyes askance the chestnuts browning;
The wild fowl fly afar
Above the foamy bar,
And hasten southward ere the skies are frowning.
Now comes a fragrant breeze
Through the dark cedar-trees,
And round about my temples fondly lingers,
In gentle playfulness,
Like to the soft caress
Bestowed in happier days by loving fingers.
Yet, though a sense of grief
Comes with the falling leaf,
And memory makes the summer doubly pleasant,
In all my autumn dreams
A future summer gleams,
Passing the fairest glories of the present!
George Arnold [1834-1865]
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
A blue and gold mistake.
Oh, fraud that cannot cheat the bee,
Induces my belief,
Till ranks of seeds their witness bear,
Oh, sacrament of summer days,
Thy sacred emblems to partake,
Emily Dickinson [1830-1886]
OH, days of beauty standing veiled apart,
The long brown fields-no longer drear and dull-
More spiritlike than even summer's flowers.
But yesterday the world was stricken bare,
Awakes the soul of vanished light and bloom?
Sharp with the clean, fine ecstasy of death,
A mightier wind shall strike the shrinking earth, An exhalation of creative breath
Wake the white wonder of the winter's birth.
In her wide Pantheon-her temple place-
Ada Foster Murray [18
A SONG OF EARLY AUTUMN
WHEN late in summer the streams run yellow,
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,
When the breeze comes shrill with the call of the cricket,
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,
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!
Richard Watson Gilder [1844-1909]
SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness!
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.
Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
John Keats [1795-1821]
ODE TO AUTUMN
I SAW old Autumn in the misty morn
Where are the songs of Summer?-With the sun,
And Morning sings with a warm odorous mouth.
Undazzled at noonday,
And tear with horny beak their lustrous eyes.
Where are the blooms of Summer?—In the West,
Blushing their last to the last sunny hours,