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Among the stubbled corn

The blithe quail pipes at morn,
The merry partridge drums in hidden places,

And glittering insects gleam

Above the reedy stream,
Where busy spiders spin their filmy laces.

At eve, cool shadows fall

Across the garden wall,
And on the clustered grapes to purple turning;

And pearly vapors lie

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,

While plaintive mourning doves

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 fty 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.

Prevision

1329

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]

INDIAN SUMMER
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 seeds 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!

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886]

PREVISION
OH, days of beauty standing veiled apart,

With dreamy skies and tender, tremulous air,
In this rich Indian summer of the heart

Well may the earth her jewelled halo wear.

The long brown fields-no longer drear and dull

Burn with the glow of these deep-hearted hours. Until the dry weeds seem more beautiful,

More spiritlike than even summer's flowers.

But yesterday the world was stricken bare,

Left old and dead in gray, enshrouding gloom; To-day what vivid wonder of the air

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

Wrapped in strange beauty and new comforting, We shall not miss the Summer's full-blown grace, Nor hunger for the swift, exquisite Spring.

Ada Foster Murray (18

A SONG OF EARLY AUTUMN
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 stripèd 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;

To Autumn

1331

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!

Richard Watson Gilder (1844–1909)

TO AUTUMN
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-eaves run;
To bend with apples the mossed 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'erbrimmed 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-reaped furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twinèd flowers;
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cider-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 barrèd 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 shallows, 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 redbreast whistles from a garden-croft,
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

John Keats (1795-1821]

ODE TO AUTUMN

I saw old Autumn in the misty morn
Stand shadowless like Silence, listening
To silence, for no lonely bird would sing
Into his hollow ear from woods forlorn,
Nor lowly hedge nor solitary thorn;-
Shaking his languid locks all dewy bright
With tangled gossamer that fell by night,

Pearling his coronet of golden corn.

Where are the songs of Summer?—With the sun,
Oping the dusky eyelids of the South,
Till shade and silence waken up as one,
And Morning sings with a warm odorous mouth.
Where are the merry birds?—Away, away,
On panting wings through the inclement skics,

Lest owls should prey

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,
When the mild Eve by sudden Night is pressed
Like tearful Prosperine, snatched from her flowers,

To a most gloomy breast.

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