Comes Autumn like a merchant’s daughter, rich1
In fortunes of her elder sisters. Round2
Her olive brow the chestnut locks bewitch,3
And her great yellow garments sweep the ground.4
She walks the grange, and sees the horses bound,5
In fleeting holiday, the paddock over ;6
Or cluster round the gate where the pied hound7
Smells at the bars, as if the leveret’s cover8
He scenteth from the bunchy grass and milky clover.9
She walks the farm-fields where the barley bristles,10
Where swells its piles the loaf-producing wheat,11
Where the soft dewy air, like minstrel, whistles12
His harvest-song to the corn’s dancing feet ;13
She hears the reaper bloodless blows repeat,14
Beholds the sheaves blessed by the kissing breeze,15
Starts as the waggon grinds the hamlet’s street,16
Or, as it rumbles through the lane, she sees17
Its yellow mountain plundered by the filching trees.18
She walks the garden where the ebon eye19
Of the young Robin stares from leafy bower,20
Ere yet his bosom blooms with crimson dye,21
Or his wild warble thrills with half his power ;22
Where the young finches blossom like a flower,23
Unfolding in the sun their silvery wings ;24
Where nimble titmice spend their festive hour25
Nibbling the honey-pear that sunward hings ;26
Where the young Quaker merle wears drab, and never
She walketh i’ the morning, azure stoled,28
When the wall’s shadow covers half the green,29
And on its edge the dew-lamp burns like gold,30
Twinkling amid the sunbeams’ kissing sheen ;31
When the swart early crow, with Dutch-like mien,32
Flaps with his oary wings the lake-like air,33
Hasting to join some great compatriot scene,34
Or bent on task of solitary care,35
Such as a father kind or frugal hind might share.36
She walketh ’neath the moon, who like a Reeve37
Ascends to take the sunless fields in charge,38
And sails above them all the crescive eve,39
As in a Cleopatra’s burning barge ;40
While far away on the horizon’s marge41
The hills like bodied air grow dim and dimmer,42
And hawk-moths, spinners, buzzing, brisk, at large,43
Boom on the window, where the lamp’s flames shimmer,44
And far away through trees convey their orange