< Classic Poems of the Romantic Period >


John Keats


 

Ode to Autumn
poem

Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St Agnes and Other Poems (1820, 25)
composed September 1819 (24)

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, 
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; 
Conspiring with him how to load and bless 
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run; 
To bend with apples the mossed cottage-trees, 
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core; 
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells 
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more, 
And still more, later flowers for the bees, 
Until they think warm days will never cease, 
For Summer has o'er-brimmed their clammy cell. 

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store? 
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find 
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor, 
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind; 
Or on a half-reaped furrow sound asleep, 
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook 
Spares the next swath and all its twinèd flowers; 
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep 
Steady thy laden head across a brook; 
Or by a cider-press, with patient look, 
Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours. 

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they? 
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,- 
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day, 
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue; 
Then in a wailful choir, the small gnats mourn 
Among the river sallows borne aloft 
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies; 
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn; 
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft 
The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft, 
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

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