John Clare, that finest of celebrants of nature, hymns the personified season of Autumn. As always there is exquisite detail in his observation of man and landscape; and some archaic terms.

              Verses from AUTUMN

Sweet vision, with the wild dishevelled hair,

And raiment shadowy of each wind’s embrace,

Fain would I win thine heart

To one accordant theme;


Now not inaptly craved, communing thus

Beneath the curdled arms of this stunt oak,

While pillowed on the grass,

We fondly ruminate


O’er the disordered scenes of woods and fields,

Ploughed lands, thin travelled with half-hungry sheep,

Pastures tracked deep with cows,

Where small birds seek for seed:


Marking the cow-boy that so merry trills

His frequent, unpremeditated song,

Wooing the winds to pause

Till echo brawls again;


As on with plashy step and clouted shoon

He roves, half indolent and self-employed,

To rob the little birds

Of hips and pendent haws,


And sloes, dim covered as with dewy veils,

And rambling bramble-berries, pulp and sweet,

Arching their prickly trails

Half o’er the country lane:


Noting the hedger front with stubborn face

The dank blea wind, that whistles thinly by

His leathern garb, thorn-proof,

And cheek red-hot with toil.


While o’er the pleachy lands  of mellow brown,

The mower’s stubbling scythe clogs to his foot

The ever eking wisp,

With sharp and sudden jerk,


Till into formal rows the russet shocks

Crowd the blank field to thatch time-weathered barns

And hovels rude repair,

Stripped by disturbing winds.