By John Keats (1795-1821)
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-eves run, To bend with apples the moss'd 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-brimm'd their clammy cells. 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-reap'd furrow sound asleep, Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers: And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep Steady thy laden head across a brook; Or by a cyder-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 red-breast whistles from a garden-croft; And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
Keats wrote “To Autumn” after a walk near Winchester one autumnal evening. It is the final work in a group of poems known as Keat’s 1819 odes. Widely analyzed, the poem has been seen as signifying the renewal of life.