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Famous Autumn Poems by Famous Poets

These are examples of famous Autumn poems written by some of the greatest and most-well-known modern and classical poets. PoetrySoup is a great educational poetry resource of famous autumn poems. These examples illustrate what a famous autumn poem looks like and its form, scheme, or style (where appropriate).

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by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...lace; while near him the tire of the cart-wheel
Lay like a fiery snake, coiled round in a circle of cinders.
Oft on autumnal eves, when without in the gathering darkness
Bursting with light seemed the smithy, through every cranny and crevice,
Warm by the forge within they watched the laboring bellows,
And as its panting ceased, and the sparks expired in the ashes,
Merrily laughed, and said they were nuns going into the chapel.
Oft on sledges in winter, as swift as the...Read more of this...

by Brontë, Emily
...ll, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day;
Every leaf speaks bliss to me
Fluttering from the autumn tree. 

I shall smile when wreaths of snow
Blossom where the rose should grow;
I shall sing when night's decay
Ushers in a drearier day....Read more of this...

by Wilde, Oscar
...winter now: the trees are bare,
Save where the cattle huddle from the cold
Beneath the pine, for it doth never wear
The autumn's gaudy livery whose gold
Her jealous brother pilfers, but is true
To the green doublet; bitter is the wind, as though it blew

From Saturn's cave; a few thin wisps of hay
Lie on the sharp black hedges, where the wain
Dragged the sweet pillage of a summer's day
From the low meadows up the narrow lane;
Upon the half-thawed snow the bleating sheep
Press...Read more of this...

by Sexton, Anne
...or of the rain, 
the mud and all its people, 
the body itself, 
working like a city, 
the night and its slow blood 
the autumn sky, mary blue. 
but more than that, 
to worship the question itself, 
though the buildings burn 
and the big people topple over in a faint. 
Bring a flashlight, Ms. Dog, 
and look in every corner of the brain 
and ask and ask and ask 
until the kingdom, 
however *****,
will come....Read more of this...

by Alighieri, Dante, with eyes that furnace-hot 
 Glowed at the task, and lifted oar to smite 
 Who lingered. 
 As the leaves, when autumn shows, 
 One after one descending, leave the bough, 
 Or doves come downward to the call, so now 
 The evil seed of Adam to endless night, 
 As Charon signalled, from the shore's bleak height, 
 Cast themselves downward to the bark. The brown 
 And bitter flood received them, and while they passed 
 Were others gathering, patient as the last, 
 No...Read more of this...

by Frost, Robert
...the steam
Of sap and snow rolled off the sugarhouse.
When they made her related to the maples,
It was the tree the autumn fire ran through
And swept of leathern leaves, but left the bark
Unscorched, unblackened, even, by any smoke.
They always took their holidays in autumn.
Once they came on a maple in a glade,
Standing alone with smooth arms lifted up,
And every leaf of foliage she'd worn
Laid scarlet and pale pink about her feet.
But its age kept them from ...Read more of this...

by Frost, Robert
...My Sorrow, when she's here with me,
Thinks these dark days of autumn rain
Are beautiful as days can be;
She loves the bare, the withered tree;
She walks the sodden pasture lane.

Her pleasure will not let me stay.
She talks and I am fain to list:
She's glad the birds are gone away,
She's glad her simple worsted grady
Is silver now with clinging mist.

The desolate, deserted trees,
The faded earth, the heavy...Read more of this...

by Milton, John
...le!--Raised of grassy turf 
Their table was, and mossy seats had round, 
And on her ample square from side to side 
All autumn piled, though spring and autumn here 
Danced hand in hand. A while discourse they hold; 
No fear lest dinner cool; when thus began 
Our author. Heavenly stranger, please to taste 
These bounties, which our Nourisher, from whom 
All perfect good, unmeasured out, descends, 
To us for food and for delight hath caused 
The earth to yield; unsavour...Read more of this...

by Wilde, Oscar the evening dove.

O poet's city! one who scarce has seen
Some twenty summers cast their doublets green
For Autumn's livery, would seek in vain
To wake his lyre to sing a louder strain,
Or tell thy days of glory; - poor indeed
Is the low murmur of the shepherd's reed,
Where the loud clarion's blast should shake the sky,
And flame across the heavens! and to try
Such lofty themes were folly: yet I know
That never felt my heart a nobler glow
Than when I woke the sile...Read more of this...

by Ashbery, John
...materialized. The soul has to stay where it is,
Even though restless, hearing raindrops at the pane,
The sighing of autumn leaves thrashed by the wind,
Longing to be free, outside, but it must stay
Posing in this place. It must move
As little as possible. This is what the portrait says.
But there is in that gaze a combination
Of tenderness, amusement and regret, so powerful
In its restraint that one cannot look for long.
The secret is too plain. The pi...Read more of this...

by Chesterton, G K
...low the sword that sings,
For we go gathering heathen men,
A terrible harvest, ten by ten,
As the wrath of the last red autumn--then
When Christ reaps down the kings.

"Follow a light that leaps and spins,
Follow the fire unfurled!
For riseth up against realm and rod,
A thing forgotten, a thing downtrod,
The last lost giant, even God,
Is risen against the world."

Roaring they went o'er the Roman wall,
And roaring up the lane,
Their torches tossed a ladder of fire,
Hi...Read more of this...

by Masefield, John
...les to the pads with mirth 
At being the swiftest thing on earth. 
O, if you want to know delight, 
Run naked in an autumn night, 
And laugh, as I laughed then, to find 
A running rabble drop behind, 
and whang, on ever door you pass, 
Two copper nozzles, tipped with brass, 
And double whang at every turning, 
And yell, "All hell's loose, and burning." 

I beat my brass and shouted fire 
At doors of parson, lawyer, squire, 
at all three doors I threshed and slammed 
A...Read more of this...

by Bradstreet, Anne
1.37 His Sword by's side, and choler in his eyes,
1.38 But neither us'd (as yet) for he was wise,
1.39 Of Autumn fruits a basket on his arm,
1.40 His golden rod in's purse, which was his charm.
1.41 And last of all, to act upon this Stage,
1.42 Leaning upon his staff, comes up old age.
1.43 Under his arm a Sheaf of wheat he bore,
1.44 A Harvest of the best: what needs he more?
1.45 In's other hand a glass, ev'n almost run,
1.4...Read more of this...

by Bridges, Robert Seymour
...'d she took flight
Scheming new tactics: Love came home with me,
And prompts my measured verses as I write. 

In autumn moonlight, when the white air wan
Is fragrant in the wake of summer hence,
'Tis sweet to sit entranced, and muse thereon
In melancholy and godlike indolence:
When the proud spirit, lull'd by mortal prime
To fond pretence of immortality,
Vieweth all moments from the birth of time,
All things whate'er have been or yet shall be. 
And like the garden,...Read more of this...

by Scott, Sir Walter
...Takes the ears that are hoary,
     But the voice of the weeper
          Wails manhood in glory.
     The autumn winds rushing
          Waft the leaves that are searest,
     But our flower was in flushing,
          When blighting was nearest.

     Fleet foot on the correi,
          Sage counsel in cumber,
     Red hand in the foray,
          How sound is thy slumber!
     Like the dew on the mountain,
          Like the foam on the river,
     L...Read more of this...

by Thomson, James
...of the South, 
Look'd out the joyous Spring, look'd out, and smil'd.
THEE too, Inspirer of the toiling Swain!
Fair AUTUMN, yellow rob'd! I'll sing of thee,
Of thy last, temper'd, Days, and sunny Calms;
When all the golden Hours are on the Wing, 
Attending thy Retreat, and round thy Wain,
Slow-rolling, onward to the Southern Sky.

BEHOLD! the well-pois'd Hornet, hovering, hangs,
With quivering Pinions, in the genial Blaze;
Flys off, in airy Circles: then returns, 
And...Read more of this...

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...d ere it died; each one
Of that great crowd sent forth incessantly
These shadows, numerous as the dead leaves blown
"In Autumn evening from a popular tree--
Each, like himself & like each other were,
At first, but soon distorted, seemed to be
"Obscure clouds moulded by the casual air;
And of this stuff the car's creative ray
Wrought all the busy phantoms that were there
"As the sun shapes the clouds--thus, on the way
Mask after mask fell from the countenance
And form of all, ...Read more of this...

by Miller, Alice Duer
...owed face, 
Those clear steady eyes, 
Hard to be certain 
That the dead don't rise.
Jogging on his pony
Through the autumn day,
'Bad year for fruit, Mother,
But good salt hay.'
Bowling for the village
As his father had before;
Coming home at evening
To read the cricket score,
Back to the old house
Where all his race belong,
Tired and contented—
Rosamund was wrong. 

If some immortal strangers walked our land 
And heard of death, how could they understand 
Th...Read more of this...

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...t heard it flicker
In sleep, and, dreaming still, he crept afar.
And, when the windless snow descended thicker
Than autumn-leaves, she watched it as it came
Melt on the surface of the level flame.

She had a boat which some say Vulcan wrought
For Venus, as the chariot of her star;
But it was found too feeble to be fraught
With all the ardours in that sphere which are,
And so she sold it, and Apollo bought
And gave it to this daughter: from a car,
Changed to the faires...Read more of this...

by Akhmatova, Anna
In burning agony my flesh does live,
And already the spirit gently sleeps,
A garden I recall, tender with autumn leaves
And cries of cranes, and the black fields around..
How sweet it would be with you underground!

x x x
The muse has left along narrow
And winding street,
And with large drops of dew
Were sprinkled her feet.

For long did I ask of her
To wait for winter with me,
But she said, "The grave is here,
How can you breathe,...Read more of this...

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