Image from the Graham Owen Gallery website
The Autumn skies are blue above,
The Autumn hills are brown,
On every kingly forest tree
There shines a golden crown,
And flushing through the valley’s haze
The sunlit waters go,
And in the wood the wind is heard
Like plaintive songs of wo!
The ocean shores are bare and black,
White scud is in the skies,
Thro’ ev’ning twilight overhead
The rushing wild duck flies,
From out the chestnut wood you hear
The nutter’s laugh and call;
And sunbeams play in purple round
The hazy waterfall.
The flowers have vanished from the wood,
And by the running streams —
We think of them as schoolmates dead,
Or friends we knew in dreams,
The dry stalks crackle as we walk —
Keen fitful gusts are heard —
Oh! with what melancholy strange
The thoughtful heart is stirred.
Republican Compiler (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Nov 25, 1844
They are falling, slowly falling,
Thick upon the forest side,
Severed from the noble branches,
Where they waved in beauteous pride.
They are falling in the valleys,
Where the early violets spring,
And the birds in sunny spring time
First their dulcest music sing.
They are falling, sadly falling,
Close beside our cottage door;
Pale and faded, like the loved ones,
They have gone forever more.
They are falling, and the sunbeams
Shine in beauty soft around;
Yet the faded leaves are falling,
Falling on the mossy ground.
They are falling on the streamlets,
Where the silvery waters flow,
And upon its placid bosom
Onward with the waters go.
They are falling in the churchyard,
Where our kindred sweetly sleep;
Where the idle winds of summer
Softly o’er the loved ones sweep.
They are falling, ever falling,
When the autumn breezes sigh,
When the stars in beauty glisten
Bright upon the midnight sky.
They are falling, when the tempest
Moans like ocean’s hollow roar,
When the tuneless winds and billows
Sadly sigh for evermore.
They are falling, they are falling,
While our saddened thoughts still go
To the sunny days of childhood,
In the dreamy long ago.
And their faded hues remind us
Of the blighted hopes and dreams
Faded like the falling leaves
Cast upon the icy streams.
Decatur Republican (Decatur, Illinois) Nov 26, 1868
Along the hills the squares of gold
That check the fading green,
A sweeter tale to me have told
Than many a fairer scene.
The winding swathes by reapers made,
Like wrinkles ill-concealed
By time on aged beauty laid,
Adorn the stubble field.
Steady,. downright, noiseless rain,
Emblem of Almighty power,
Soft as the dews that bathe the plain,
Unlike the summer’s lurid shower,
And summer’s torrid rage,
Thou art like the rest of age.
Patient as a Father’s love,
Steady as the Christian’s trust,
Noiseless falling from above
On the unjust and the just,
Storing wealth in field and Spring,
Summer’s coming days shall bring.
It smote the flowers in its wrath,
It smote the weed beside the path,
Blind in its rage it smote the corn,
As well as blossoms that adorn
The crimson wreaths of climbing vine,
That round the forest monarch twine,
The frost and death blind as fate,
And stop not to discriminate.
SOUND FROM THE FIELDS.
There’s a humming drone and undertone
Of cricket and locust and bee,
From the drowsy fields at noon,
Like a child who sings to itself alone,
Then nods and sleeps to the melody
Of its own unstudied tune.
Cambridge Jeffersonian (Cambridge, Ohio) Sep 10, 1885