TO AUTUMN - Ben Jonson Poems

 
 

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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-eves 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'er-brimm'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,
      Drows'd 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 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 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 red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
           And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.