Posts Tagged ‘Autumn’

Autumn Leaves

November 16, 2012

Image from Tumblr


— J.T. Reese —

How old Nature sighs and grieves,
‘Cause she’s losing all her leaves!
All her gowns of red and brown
Say “Good-bye,” then flutter down.

Soon the trees look bare and cold,
In the park or in the wold;
Pretty leaves of brown and red
Silently just bow their head.

Pretty leaves just feign to die,
And the trees just weep and sigh,
For the leaves sleep in the brake
Like they nevermore would wake.

But when days are nice and warm,
No more you feel the winter’s storm,
The trees put on their stylish dress
And you admire their loveliness.

A leaf looked down at me and said,
“You supposed we leaves were dead!
Though we wither up and dry,
Yet we never truly die.”

Cambridge City Tribune (Cambridge City, Indiana) Nov 10, 1927

After Many Days

November 10, 2012

Image from VisualizeUs


The hills were burned with autumn’s tan,
Between them slow the river ran.
The woods were purpled haze;
Now black the line of hills, and sere,
And locked the stream — but you are here,
Now, after many days.

The fields where once the furrows lay
Have learned the touch of yesterday
Along their crumbling ways;
And you shall find them white with snow,
Brown though they were in long ago —
Now, after many days.

The thickets where the cat-bird called
The meadows by green hedges walled,
And stretch of briery maze,
Have passed and vanished, fled and gone,
Melted like starlight into dawn,
Now, after many days.

Full many a sign and sense of change
That seasons brings of new and strange
Will come to meet your gaze;
Bleak paths where once the violet sprang,
Dead branches where the robins sang,
Now, after many days.

But steadfast as the Northern star,
Whatever changes be or are,
Howe’er the season sways,
You know the love that rules my heart
Is yours, though long our hands apart,
Now, after many days.

— Ernest McGaffey in Woman’s Home Companion.

Lima News (Lima, Ohio) Oct 31, 1898

Image from dreamstime

When the Frost is on the Punkin

October 18, 2012

Image from D&E Grey Wolf Photography on flickr


When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock,
And you hear the kyonck and the gobble of the struttin’ turkey cock,
And the clackin’; of the guineys and the cluckin’ of the hens,
And the rooster’s hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;
O it’s then’s the time a feller is a feelin’ at his best,
With the risin’ sun to greet him from a night of graceous rest,
As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock

They’s somepin kind o’ hearty-like about the atmosphere
When the heat of summer’s over and the coolin’ fall is here —
Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossoms on the trees,
And the mumble of the hummin’ birds and buzzin’ of the bees;
But the air’s so appetizin’, and the landscape through the haze
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
Is a picture that no painter has the colorin’ to mock —
When the frost is on the punkin and fodder’s in the shock.

The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn,
And the raspin’ of the tangled leaves, as golden as the morn;
The stubble in the furries — kind o’ lonesome-like, but still
A-preachin’ sermons to us of the barns they growed to fill;
The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed;
The hosses in theyr stalls below — the clover overhead! —
O, it sets my hart a-clickin’ like the tickin’ of a clock,
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock!

— Benjamin F. Johnson

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Aug 12, 1882

Image from

About the poem and its author, also from the James Whitcomb Riley website:


There is an interesting incident about how Riley’s job was once saved because he had written “When the Frost Is On the Punkin, and the Fodder’s In the Shock.”  It is in a book written by Riley’s friend John A. Howland entitled, “James Whitcomb Riley: Prose and Pictures.”

Riley, as a young Greenfield man, had had a hard time finding a niche in the world since he did not care to follow his father in the practice of law.  He sold Bibles, painted signs, entertained in a medicine show, always coming to a dead end.  His mother died in 1870 and he felt he could not bear to stay in Greenfield so he went here and there seeking newspaper employment.  He ran into E.B. Martindale of “The Indianapolis Journal” whom he later called, “my first literary patron,” who added him to the staff of the paper to write poetry.  Some of these poems appeared on the first page of the Journal under the nom de plume “Benjamin F. Johnson of Boone,” supposedly an old farmer.  As they were well received, Riley emerged from under his disguise, writing poems such as “When the Frost is on the Punkin.”

In a short while after Riley joined the paper, a gentleman named Halford was appointed manager of the Journal.  One of his first ideas was to cut down on expenses of the paper, and he was considering Riley as his first victim to get the ax.  It so happened that a political convention was held in Indianapolis at this very time.  One of the candidates nominated for office was a big burly fellow who had never made a speech in his life

When he got up to accept his nomination, his mind went blank and he could not utter a word.  The pounding and cheering went on until in desperation he blurted out, “The ticket you have nominated here is going to win “when the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.”  This Riley poem had just been published a few days before. in the newspaper.

The applause that greeted these words showed that most of these prominent men had read Riley’s work and approved of it.  Halford kept him on, and he became an established poet.

Riley saved his job by a landscape!

Apple Stealing

September 13, 2012


This is the season when the farmer turns loose his dog for the purpose of scaring the young miscreants who come out from the city to steal his apples.

The farmer does not have any objection to the boys getting a few apples, but he objects to having his trees broken down by the young rascals. There are so few apples this year that every one counts and the less that are stolen the more the farmer will have to fill up the barrels that must be fewer than usual on account of those pests, the caterpillars.

Of course, the small boy is the same throughout the broad land, but there are so many more of them near the cities that they make the life of the farmer anything but pleasant, who lives in the suburbs.

Portsmouth Herald (Portsmouth, New Hampshire) Sep 13, 1899


November 22, 2011


Off we go to the market early!
“Get up, Lazy, it’s canning time!”
Looking for onions small and pearly,
Stopping to buy nutmeg and thyme.
There’s the recipe Grandma gave us —
It’s the luckiest one of all!
Let’s cut through! Here’s a path to save us!
We’ll have need of our strength this fall!

We must look for some small cucumbers,
And a big bunch of celery.
Well, they say there is luck in numbers!
Market’s crowded as you can see!
We are earlier than the farmers!
All the wagons have not come yet.
Some of those younger girls are charmers,
They’ll be married real soon, I’ll bet!

Now don’t bargain too much! The prices
Can’t be cut very much below
Last year’s market .  .  .  By fruits and spices
Merchants must live and die, you know!
.  .  .  Ask him to take a trifle less, Dear!
Add the basket for one more dime?

Appleton Post Crescent (Appleton, Wisconsin) Sep 10, 1938

Autumn Mosaics

November 6, 2011

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.


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

Autumn Poetry

November 1, 2009

In November.

The ruddy sunset lies
Banked along the west,
In flocks with sweep and rise
The birds are going to rest.

The air clings and cools,
And the reeds look cold
Standing above the pools
Like rods of beaten gold.

The flaunting golden-rod
Has lost her wordly mood,
She’s given herself to God
And taken a nun’s hood.

The wild and wanton horde
That kept the summer revel
Have taken the serge and cord
And given the slip to the Devil.

The winter’s loose somewhere,
Gathering snow for a fight;
From the feel of the air
I think it will freeze tonight.


The News (Frederick, Maryland) Oct 24, 1891



No sound but the beechnuts falling
Through the green and the yellow leaves,
And the rainy west wind calling
The swallows from the eves,
No fading trees are shedding
Their golden splendor yet;
But a sunset gleam is spreading,
That seems like a regret.

And the crimson-breasted birdie
Sings his sweet funeral hymn
On the oak-tree grim and sturdy,
In the twilight gathering dim,
Death comes to pomp and glory;
They fade the sunny hours;
And races old in story
Pass like the summer flowers.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Oct 19, 1872


Fall Time in Georgia.

Through summer, we’ve been toastin’,
But now we’re on the way
Where the sweet potato’s roastin’
An’ the cabin fiddles play.

The cane will soon be gindin’,
An’ the boys’ll have their fun;
The hunter’s horn is windin’
An’ the rabbit’s on the run!

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Aug 12, 1895

Obviously, the fiddler in the picture is not from Georgia, but I thought it was a great picture anyway. While searching for it, I came across a picture of a fiddler from Georgia by the name of Robert Allen Sisson. You can read about him in The Old Time Fiddlers Hall of Fame. To the left of his biographical sketch is an audio link of him playing Rocky Road to Dublin.



AGAINST the gray November sky
Beside the weedy lane it stands,
To newer fields they all pass by
The farmers and their harvest hands.

There is no lack within the mow;
The racks and mangers fall to dust;
The roof is crumbling in, but thou,
My soul, inspect it and be just.

Once from the green and winding vale
The sheaves were born to deck its floor;
The blue-eyed milkmaid filled her pail,
Then gently closed the stable door.

Once on the frosty wintry air
The sound of flail afar was borne,
And from his natural pulpit there
The preacher cock called up the morn.

But all are gone; the harvest men
Work elsewhere now for higher pay;
The blue-eyed milkmaid married Ben,
The hand, and went to Ioway.

The flails are banished by machines,
Which thresh the grain with equine power,
The senile cock no longer weans
The folks from sleep at dawning hour.

They slumber late beyond the hill,
In that new house which spurns the old;
In gorgeous stalls the kine are still,
The horse is blanketed from the cold.

But I from ostentatious pride
And hollow pomp of riches turn,
To must that ancient barn beside;
Pause, pilgrim, and its lessons learn,

So live that thou shalt never  make
A millpond of the mountain farm,
Nor for a gaudy stable take
The timbers of the ruined barn!

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Aug 10, 1872