James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

October 1


By Dinah Maria Mulock Craik (1826–1887)

IT is no joy to me to sit

On dreamy summer eves,

When silently the timid moon

Kisses the sleeping leaves,

And all things through the fair hushed earth

Love, rest,—but nothing grieves.

Better I like old autumn,

With his hair tossed to and fro,

Firm striding o’er the stubble-fields

When the equinoctials blow.

When shrinkingly the sun creeps up

Through misty mornings cold,

And robin on the orchard hedge

Sings cheerily and bold,

While heavily the frosted plum

Drops downward on the mold;

And as he passes autumn

Into earth’s lap does throw

Brown apples gay in a game of play,

As the equinoctials blow.

When the spent year its carol sings

Into a humble psalm,

Asks no more for the pleasure draught,

But for the cup of balm,

And all its storms and sunshine bursts

Controls to one brave calm,—

Then step by step walks autumn,

With steady eyes that show

Nor grief nor fear, to the death of the year

While the equinoctials blow.