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,

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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.