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Featured Poem: The Glory of Autumn by Isaac McLellan

Written by Beth Pochin, 21st October 2013

I don't know about you, but I think Autumn is the best time of the year. Yesterday, I went on a lovely walk through Sefton park, and realised  that Autumn 2013 has well and truly arrived. The beautiful leaves, rich in colour were spread all over the ground, and even more importantly, I spotted my first Conker of the year!

This got me thinking about how for some reason, Autumn has a feel to it, maybe even a smell to it, that always reminds me of my childhood; of wellies, scarves and competitive games of Conkers.

I then wondered what Autumn might mean to others, is it a special season for you or do you dread the dark evenings drawing in and the cold, rainy days?

After my lovely afternoon surrounded by the Autumn leaves and thinking about what Autumn might mean to individuals, I wanted to add a special poem about Autumn for today's Featured poem. It's called The Glory of Autumn, by Isaac McLellen and it celebrates and describes with some beautiful, evocative language, what I think is the most stunning, atmospheric season.


The generous autumn days are come,
The merriest of the year,
With dewy morns and rosy eves,
And harvest moonlight clear;
The hoar-frost shineth thin and white
O'er mountain and o'er plain;
It gems the faded grass
And the stubble of the grain.

What time the day-dawn flecks the east,
A gauzy, filmy veil
Floats o'er the crystal river,
In the hollow of the vale.
The bearded oats, the juicy wheat,
Have all been gather'd in,
The latest crispy husk of corn
Is garner'd in the bin.

The apples of the orchard,
Red with the sun's caress,
Enrich the farmer's cellars
Or feed the cider-press.
Now is the season's carnival,
The fête-time of the year,
When the blithe October breezes
Blow bracingly and clear.

When husking frolics in the barn,
Or the flooding broad moonlight,
Prolong with jocund dance and song
The watches of the night.
For all the toil of seed-time
And the harvest now are o'er,
Save where the flail resoundeth
On the busy threshing-floor.

Now when the genial breezes
Sweep through the fading wood,
Tossing the scarlet maples,
And the oak leaves many-hued;
Ere dawns the day o'er hill and lawn,
The sportsman takes his way
To upland moor, or woodland haunts,
Or open breezy bay.

The outlying deer are now afoot,
To browse the dew-wet grass,
Or pause to taste the crystal brook,
And lakelet clear as glass;
The brown quail in the cedar copse
Leads forth her hungry brood.
The partridge whirs through open glade,
Or through the hemlock wood.

Now o'er the salt and sedgy marsh,
Where bends the rustling reed,
The piper and the plover
On the briny shallows feed.
The black-duck and the widgeon
Are swimming in the bay,
The geese and brant in black platoons
Defile their long array.

It is the sportsman's festival,
The year's most glorious time,
When the dahlia and the aster
Are in their golden prime,
When the rainbow-painted forests
Are resplendently aflame,
When every healthful breath we draw
Adds vigor to the frame.

The sweetest of our Northern bards
Hath sung in mournful lay
Of the dreary time of autumn--
Of the "sad" October day.
But methinks the changeful glories,
The sport, the harvest cheer,
Make the autumnal season
The brightest of the year.

Isaac McLellan

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