Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AUTUMN, by WILLIAM ASPENWALL BRADLEY

Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

AUTUMN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Now shorter grow november days
Last Line: That haunts this hungry autumn air.
Subject(s): Autumn; Seasons; Fall

Now shorter grow November days,
And leaden ponds begin to glaze
With their first ice, while every night
The hoarfrost leaves the meadows white
Like wimples spread upon the lawn
By maidens who are up at dawn,
And sparkling diamonds may be seen
Strewing the close-clipped golfing green.
But the slow sun dispels at noon
The season's work begun too soon,
Bidding faint filmy mists arise
And fold in softest draperies
The distant woodlands, bleak and bare,
Until they seem to melt in air.
See how the sun turns all to gold,
Green tree trunks and brown garden mould,
The waving yellow grass, and all
Vine skeletons upon the wall,
Sere leaves that strew the forest floor,
The littered barnyard and the store
Of sodden cornstalks, stacked in rows,
In fields where, through the stubble, shows
Fresh verdure, gage of distant spring,
And of fresh harvests it will bring.
Now, harvests o'er, his labors done,
The farm-boy shoulders bag and gun
And saunters forth with slouching stride,
His nosing setter at his side,
To beat in turn each well-known cover
For quail, for woodcock, or for plover.
And I, although no gun I bear,
Am oft abroad in this bright air.
For well I love the landscape thus,
When, wrapt in hazes luminous,
It lies no longer like a maid,
In springtime's modest green arrayed,
Or like a matron, in dull dress,
Of summer's dusty leafiness,
But like a tawny goddess lies
In careless ease beneath the skies,
And takes the sun's kiss on each breast --
Twin rounded hills -- that copse a nest
Where love might linger with caresses.
Those russet oak-leaves crown her tresses,
That, from their fillets loose unbound,
In rippling yellow waves spread round
Her body splendid, shameless, bare,
That haunts this hungry autumn air.

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