Stanzas Written in a Park in Surrey, October, 1820.

The earlier frosts had long begun 1
Their work on ev’ry tenderer tree,2
And nearly banished, one by one,3
Blythe summer’s tints of greenery ;4
For every bough’s extremity5
Turned slowly to an alien hue ;6
The ashes faded to a yellow, 7
The limes became all sickly sallow,8
And tawney-red the hawthorns grew.9
The beeches’ gloss fled fast away,10
And left them brown as iron ore ;11
And e’en the old oak’s outer spray,12
Marks of this nightly searing bore ;13
And yester eve, the frequent shower14
Shrouded the moon in wat’ry gloom,15
And drench’d the branches drooping low;16
And now, a more relentless foe !17
Hoarse wind of Autumn thou art come !18
By the loud uproar of the din,19
Pour’d thro’ yon swaying avenue ;20
Whose arching elms, to one within,21
Appear some huge cathedral view ;22
And by those flickering leaves that strew23
The late uncumber’d tracks of deer24
And by that tossing pine, which fast25
Stoops like some drifting shallop’s mast,26
Hoarse wind of Autumn thou art here !27
See how the deer are crowding round28
Yon group of patriarchal oaks,29
Whose wide extended limbs rebound30
Against the blast’s assiduous strokes :31
The dappled herd, with anxious looks,32
And heads all earthward bending move,33
To pry where auburn acorns rest34
New shaken from their cups above,—35
And glean a rich autumnal feast.36
Aye, wind of autumn, wild and rude37
Thou com’st to rend, with ruthless hand,38
The sickening foliage of the wood ;39
For all that spring, with nurture bland,40
Of mild and tepid breezes fann’d41
And fed with balmy dew and shower ;42
And all that summer’s sunny sky43
Disclosed in rich maturity,44
Must sink before thy wasting power.45
Thy hands are busy, noisy blast, 46
In stripping each discolor’d tree, 47
Of shoals of leaves which flutter past48
Their ruin this, but sport to thee. 49
And though thy violence we see, 50
Now tearing down a load, and now, 51
But what would fill an infant’s hand ; 52
Yet ere thou goest, each tree shall stand53
With trunk unveil’d, and leafless bough.54
Yet no—the oak and beech shall still55
Hold to the south some garland sere, 56
Nor lose these hard-kept honours till57
The winter-wind, thy wild compeer, 58
Roar still more loudly in the ear. 59
And see, the holly stands secure, 60
It scorns you both, defies your bluster, 61
Nor loses leaf, nor coral cluster, 62
Unless for christmas garniture.63
Like leaves from some deciduous tree, 64
Since youthful fancies fall away, 65
Oh, may I-like yon holly be, 66
And gain those stabler tastes, which stay ! 67
Nor, as life’s seasons change, decay ! 68
May I accomplishments possess, 69
To make me—like the holly bower70
Retain a cheering, leafiness, 71
Yea, even in age’s wintry hour.72