Peruse this selection of evocative autumnal poems. Enjoy in front of the fireplace, the smell of dying leaves in the air, or save for Halloween, to read between trick-or-treaters. Savor that feeling of soft nostalgia and hopeful hibernation.

There is a Solemn Wind To-Night

There is a solemn wind to-night

That sings of solemn rain;

The trees that have been quiet so long

Flutter and start again.

 

The slender trees, the heavy trees,

The fruit trees laden and proud,

Lift up their branches to the wind

That cries to them so loud.

Birch trees blowing in the wind by Graham Noble Norwell on artnet

Graham Noble Norwell

 

The little bushes and the plants

Bow to the solemn sound,

And every tiniest blade of grass

Shakes on the quiet ground.

Katherine Mansfield

 

In Autumn (Verses 1-5)

The leaves are many under my feet,

And drift one way.

Their scent of death is weary and sweet.

A Flight of them is in the grey

Where sky and forest meet.

 

The low winds moan for sad sweet years;

The birds sing all for pain,

Of a common thing, to weary ears, —

Only a summer’s fate of rain,

And a woman’s fate of tears.

 

I walk to love and life alone

Over these mournful places,

Across the summer overthrown,

The dead joys of these silent faces,

To claim my own.

 

I know his heart has beat to bright

Sweet loves gone by;

I know the leaves that die to-night

Once budded to the sky;

And I shall die from his delight.

 

O leaves, so quietly ending now,

You heart the cuckoos sing.

And I will grow upon my bough

If only for a Spring,

And fall when the rain is on my brow.

Alice Meynell

 

Autumn Leaves by Barbara Buer (Oil Painting) | Artful Home

Barbara Buer

 

Astrophil and Stella (Verse 31)

With how sad steps, O moon, thou climb’st the skies;

How silently, and with how wan a face.

What, may it be that even in heav’nly place

That busy archer his sharp arrows tries?

Sure, if that long-with-love-acquainted eyes

Can judge of love, thou feel’st a lover’s case;

I read it in thy look; thy languish’d grace

To me, that feel the like, thy state descries.

Then, even of fellowship, O moon, tell me,

Is constant love deemed there but want of wit?

Are beauties there as proud as here they be?

Do they above love to be loved, and yet

Those lovers scorn whom that love doth possess?

Do they call virtue there ungratefulness?

Sir Philip Sidney

 

 

After Rain

See how upon bare twigs they lie,

Raindrops, lately of the sky–

Balls of crystal, rounder far

Than any earthen berries are.

Phantom fruits begot of air

Fashioned for no human fare.

Rachel Field

 

The Western Sun Withdraws

The western sun withdraws the shorten’d day;

And humid Evening, gliding o’er the sky,

In her chill progress, to the ground condensed

The vapours throws. Where creeping waters ooze,

Where marshes stagnate, and where rivers wind,

Cluster the rolling gofs, and swim along

The dusky-mantled lawn. Meanwhile the moon

Full-orb’d, and breaking through the scatter’d clouds,

Shows her broad visage in the crimson’d east.

Turn’d to the sun direct, her spotted disk,

Where mountains rise, umbrageous dales descend,

And caverns deep, as optic tub descries,

A smaller earth, gives us his blaze again,

Void of its flame, and sheds a softer day.

Now through the passing cloud she seems to stoop,

Now up the pure cerulean rides sublime.

Wide the pale deluge floats, and streaming mild

O’er the sky’d mountain to the shadowy vale,

While rocks and floods reflect the quivering gleam,

The whole air whitens with a boundless tide

Of silver radiance, trembling round the world.

James Thomson

 

 

Autumn Birds
Daily Paintworks - "Fall Chickadee" - Original Fine Art for Sale - © Krista Eaton | Bird painting acrylic, Nature art painting, Painting

Krista Eaton

The wild duck startles like a sudden thought

And heron slow as if it might be caught

The flopping crows on weary wings go bye

And grey beard jackdaws noising as they flye

The crowds of starnels wiz and hurry bye

And darken like a cloud the evening sky

The larks like thunder rise and suthy round

Then drop and nestle in the stubble ground

The wild swan hurries high and noises loud

With white neck peering to the evening cloud

The weary rooks to distant woods are gone

With length of tail the magpie winnows on

To neighbouring tree, and leaves the distant crow

While small birds nestle in the edge below

John Clare

 

October

Give me October’s meditative haze,

Its gossamer mornings, dewy-wimpled eves,

Dewy and fragrant, fragrant and secure,

The long slow sound of farmward-wending wains,

When homely Love sups quiet ‘mid his sheaves,

Sups ‘mid his sheaves, his sickle at his side,

And all is peace, peace and plump fruitfulness.

Alfred Austin

 

The Wild Swans at Coole

The trees are in their autumn beauty,

The woodland paths are dry,

Under the October twilight the water

Mirrors a still sky;

Upon the brimming water among the stones

Are nine-and-fifty swans.

 

The nineteenth autumn has come upon me

Since I first made my count;

I saw, before I had well finished,

All suddenly mount

And scatter wheeling in great broken rings

Upon their clamorous wings.

 

I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,

And now my heart is sore.

All’s changed since I, hearing at twilight,

The first time on this shore,

The bell-beat of their wings above my head,

Trod with a lighter tread.

 

Unwearied still, lover by lover,

They paddle in the cold

Companionable streams or climb the air;

Their hearts have not grown old;

Passion or conquest, wander where they will,

Attend upon them still.

 

But now they drift on the still water,

Mysterious, beautiful;

Among what rushes will they build,

By what lake’s edge or pool

Delight men’s eyes when I awake some day

To find they have flown away?

W. B. Yeats

 

Autumn Fires
Autumn Bonfire by Stephen Darbishire | Autumn art, Contemporary impressionism, Local painters

Stephen Darbishire

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!

Robert Louis Stevenson

 

Fall Leaves Fall

Fall leaves fall die flowers away

Lengthen night and shorten day

Every leaf speaks bliss to me

Fluttering from the autumn tree

I shall smile when wreaths of snow

Blossom where the rose should grow

I shall sing when night’s decay

Ushers in a drearier day.

Emily Bronte

 

The Wind

The Wind begun to rock the Grass

With threatening Tunes and low —

He flung a Menace at the Earth —

A Menace at the Sky.

 

The Leaves unhooked themselves from Trees —

And started all abroad

The Dust did scoop itself like Hands

And throw away the Road.

 

The Wagons quickened on the Streets

The Thunder hurried slow —

The Lightning showed a yellow Beak

And then a livid Claw.

 

The Birds put up the Bars to Nests —

The Cattle fled to Barns —

There came one drop of Giant Rain,

And then, as if the Hands

 

That held the Dams had parted hold

The Waters Wrecked the Sky,

But overlooked my Father’s House —

Just quartering a Tree —

Emily Dickinson

 

The Last Week in October

The trees are undressing, and fling in many places —

On the gray road, the roof, the window-sill —

Their radiant robes and ribbons and yellow laces;

A leaf each second so is flung at will,

Here, there, another and another, still and still.

 

A spider’s web has caught one while downcoming,

That stays there dangling when the rest pass on;

Like a suspended criminal hangs he, mumming

In golden garb, while one yet green, high yon,

Trembles, as fearing such a fate for himself anon.

Thomas Hardy

 

Autumn Sun Star Painting by Dan Sproul

Dan Sproul