Monday, August 17, 2009

Season of Mellow Fruitfulness

My RL Avie set off on the commute this morning. The commute is the price paid for living in the country and working in the city. It was quiet, there was not much traffic about.

My neighbour's apple trees had begun to drop their load of ripe fruit. They hit the grass with a solid "Thump!"

The river valley was misty. It hung in a layer in the morning air, like a sheet over the world, as if Mother Nature had the decorators in, or maybe the chimney sweep. You could see it rise over the hedgerows and drop a bit into the fields.

The first hint of the sun was there painting the purples, blues and pinks with golden yellows and reds.

There was a little grain spilled along the highway, at the edge, and the fields were shorn. There were rolls of hay standing in the fields like ancient pagan stones.

Then it occurred to me this is the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness that Keats wrote of almost 200 years ago now and I figure he would see it today. The year is on the wane.

The crops are starting to be gathered in for another year. Tho' I noticed the hedgerow blackberries are not at their best yet, you can see hazel nuts that will soon be ready to pick. The rose hips are swelling. Many of the flowers in our garden are working hard doing their thing.

And I knew. Soon now there will be harvest festival and the falling leaves as the world dresses in gold and brown and prepares for sleep.

And there was I for a brief moment, alone, in sole possession of this wonderful scene and I still feel good about it now.


To Autumn

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.

John Keats To Autumn, 1820


jmb said...

A charming word picture you have created here Moggs, but I am not ready for Fall yet!

Fall here not only brings the wonderful colours on the trees but it brings the drizzling rain and all too soon Winter follows.

Let's enjoy a few more weeks of Summer if nature will cooperate.

Gledwood said...

The year is on the wane already? Wow ~ it's highest of high summer here ...

Moggs Tigerpaw said...

JMB and Gledwood, Well I am not wanting to say goodbye to summer myself yet, and indeed I am not really talking about Fall/Autumn now, except to say I am reminded it is there waiting in the wings.

No This is the full ripening of summer, Harvest time.

Granny on the Web said...

The wonders of creation, that year in, year out in every generation, we see the same pattern of nature that Keats saw then.

Love Granny

Moggs Tigerpaw said...

G, It sort of connects you with all your ancestors. I think those who live in town miss out a little there.

sally in norfolk said...

I could do with some of those apples..if they are cookers :-)

Moggs Tigerpaw said...

They are large, maybe as big as a medium grapefruit, they often roll into the roadway and get squashed. I think they are cookers.

Ellee Seymour said...

I studied this poem at school and still quote it all the time too.
When I returned from holiday a couple of days ago, the biggest joy I felt back home was seeing the apple trees heavily laden with their juicy fruit, just ripe for picking. It was such a British sight, but obviously a Canadian one too.

Moggs Tigerpaw said...

Ellee, So much is squeezed into that poem, like a shorthand of emotions and a million memories and evocative impressions. so much conveyed in so few words, like each word does double, or treble duty.


Autumn is mmy favourite season,especially in Canada. Without the maple leaf in England, our autumns pale by comparison.