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Fall Poetry

Wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being . . .—Percy Bysshe Shelley

compiled by David Johnson
Autumn on the Lake

Read more verse honoring the seasons.

See a glossary of poetry terms.

Read biographies of notable poets.

No spring, nor summer beauty hath such grace
As I have seen in one autumnal face;



John Donne (1572–1631) "Elegy IX: The Autumnal"


The acrid scents of autumn,
Reminiscent of slinking beasts, make me fear

D. H. Lawrence (1885–1930) "Dolor of Autumn," Amores (1916)




Gold of a ripe oat straw, gold of a southwest moon,
Canada thistle blue and flimmering larkspur blue,
Tomatoes shining in the October sun with red hearts,

Carl Sandburg (1878–1967) "Cornhuskers," Falltime (1918)




There is music in the meadows, in the air–
Autumn is here;
Skies are gray, but hearts are mellow,

—William Stanley Braithwaite, (1878–1962)
"A Lyric of Autumn," Lyrics of Life and Love (1904)




Was it the ghost of autumn in that smell
Of underground, or God's blank heart grown kind,
That sent a happy dream to him in hell?—

Siegfried Sassoon (1886–1967) "Break of Day," Counter-Attack and Other Poems (1918)




Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;

John Keats (1795–1821) "CCLV Ode to Autumn," The Golden Treasury (1875)




The morns are meeker than they were,
The nuts are getting brown;
The berry's cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.

Emily Dickinson (1830–1886) "Nature XXVII, Autumn"




Autumn hath all the summer's fruitful treasure;
Gone is our sport, fled is poor Croydon's pleasure.

Thomas Nashe (1567–1601) "Summer's Last Will and Testament" (1660)




I saw old Autumn in the misty morn
Stand shadowless like silence, listening
To silence.

Thomas Hood (1799–1845) "Ode: Autumn" (1827)




Crown'd with the sickle, and the wheaten sheaf,
While Autumn, nodding o'er the yellow plain,
Comes jovial on.

—James Thomson (1700–1748) "Autumn" (1730))




The long sobs
Of the violins
Of autumn
Pierce my heart
With monotonous languor.

Paul Verlaine (1844–1896) "Song of Autumn," Poèmes Saturniens (1866)




It's all a farce, –these tales they tell
About the breezes sighing,
And moans astir o'er field and dell,
Because the year is dying.

Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872–1906) "Lyrics of a Lowly Life," (1896– ) Merry Autumn




Listen! the wind is rising,
and the air is wild with leaves,
We have had our summer evenings,
now for October eves!

—Humbert Wolfe (1885–1940) "Autumn (Resignation)" (1926)





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