There are two Ripenings -- one -- of sight --
Whose forces Spheric wind
Until the Velvet product
Drop spicy to the ground --
A homelier maturing --
A process in the Bur --
That teeth of Frosts alone disclose
In far October Air.
Robert Louis Stevenson
NOW in the sky
And on the hearth of
Now in a drawer the direful cane,
That sceptre of the . . . reign,
And the long hawser, that on the back
Of Marsyas fell with many a whack,
Twice hardened out of Scythian hides,
Now sleep till the October ides.
William Butler Yeats
A crazy man that found a cup,
When all but dead of thirst,
Hardly dared to wet his mouth
That another mouthful
And his beating heart would burst.
October last I found it too
But found it dry as bone,
And for that reason am I crazed
And my sleep is gone.
Summer has two Beginnings --
Beginning once in June --
Beginning in October
Affectingly again --
Without, perhaps, the Riot
But graphicker for Grace --
As finer is a going
Than a remaining Face --
Departing then -- forever --
Forever -- until May --
Forever is deciduous
Except to those who die --
Henry David Thoreau
On fields o'er which the reaper's hand has pass'd
Lit by the harvest moon and autumn sun,
My thoughts like stubble floating in the wind
And of such fineness as October airs,
There after harvest could I glean my life
A richer harvest reaping without toil,
And weaving gorgeous fancies at my will
In subtler webs than finest summer haze.
I spot the hills
With yellow balls in autumn.
I light the prairie cornfields
Orange and tawny gold clusters
And I am called pumpkins.
On the last of October
When dusk is fallen
Children join hands
And circle round me
Singing ghost songs
And love to the harvest moon;
I am a jack-o'-lantern
With terrible teeth
And the children know
I am fooling.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
YESTERDAY brown was still thy head, as the locks
of my loved one,
Whose sweet image so dear silently beckons afar.
Silver-grey is the early snow to-day on thy summit,
Through the tempestuous night streaming fast over
Youth, alas, throughout life as closely to age is united
As, in some changeable dream, yesterday blends
October 7th, 1797.
October's bellowing anger breaks and cleaves
The bronzed battalions of the stricken wood
In whose lament I hear a voice that grieves
For battle’s fruitless harvest, and the feud
Of outraged men. Their lives are like the leaves
Scattered in flocks of ruin, tossed and blown
Along the westering furnace flaring red.
O martyred youth and manhood overthrown,
The burden of your wrongs is on my head.
Every old man I see
Reminds me of my father
When he had fallen in love with death
One time when sheaves were gathered.
That man I saw in Gardner Street
Stumbled on the kerb was one,
He stared at me half-eyed,
I might have been his son.
And I remember the musician
Faltering over his fiddle
In Bayswater, London,
He too set me the riddle.
Every old man I see
In October-coloured weather
Seems to say to me:
"I was once your father."
In the Shreve High football stadium,
I think of Polacks nursing long beers in Tiltonsville,
And gray faces of Negroes in the blast furnace at Benwood,
And the ruptured night watchman of Wheeling Steel,
Dreaming of heroes.
All the proud fathers are ashamed to go home.
Their women cluck like starved pullets,
Dying for love.
Their sons grow suicidally beautiful
At the beginning of October,
And gallop terribly against each other's bodies.