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Monday, April 6, 2009

ODE TO AUTUMN


Our trees are turning - this photo I took exactly three years ago but this year they're not nearly as colourful.

ODE TO AUTUMN - 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-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 twined 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 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 redbreast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

NOTES ON 'TO AUTUMN'
In a letter written to Reynolds from Winchester, in September, 1819, Keats says: 'How beautiful the season is now - How fine the air. A temperate sharpness about it. Really, without joking, chaste weather - Dian skies - I never liked stubble-fields so much as now - Aye better than the chilly green of the spring. Somehow, a stubble-field looks warm - in the same way that some pictures look warm. This struck me so much in my Sunday's walk that I composed upon it.' What he composed was the Ode To Autumn. The Literature Network

2 comments:

willow said...

Beautiful! I enjoy the change of seasons, but I am always homesick for autumn.

Coccinella said...

I enjoy both Autumn & Spring and, now that I'm older, Winter is also enjoyable; rugging up, a cosy fire and walking when the sun shows, with a good hat and a lovely, woollen scarf. Our winters here, thankfully, are not as cold as yours! I don't have to mow the grass in Winter either!