To Autumn

September 23, 2007

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 moss’d 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’erbrimm’d 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-reap’d 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 cyder-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-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.

– John Keats

2 Responses to “To Autumn”

  1. Christina Says:

    Thank you for featuring Keats, my favourite of the English poets. Here is one of my favourite fall poems from Rilke both in German and in English.

    Die Blätter fallen, fallen wie von weit,
    als welkten in den Himmeln ferne Gärten;
    sie fallen mit verneinender Gebärde.

    Und in den Nächten fällt die schwere Erde
    aus allen Sternen in die Einsamkeit.

    Wir alle fallen. Diese Hand da fällt.
    Und sieh die andre an: es ist in allen.

    Und doch ist Einer, welcher dieses Fallen
    unendlich sanft in seinen Händen hält.

    The leaves are falling, falling as from far,
    as if distant gardens withered in the skies;
    they are falling with a denying gesture.

    And in the nights the heavy earth falls
    from all the stars into solitude.

    All of us fall. This hand here falls.
    And look at the other: it is in all.

    And yet there is one, who holds this falling
    immensely gently in his hands

    trans. Bertram Kottmann

  2. cburrell Says:

    Thank you, Christina, for that lovely poem. I like it very much. I’ve read some of Rilke, and I admire him, but this poem was new to me.

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