C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


Autumn is the harvest of greedy death.


The year’s last, loveliest smile.


The Indian summer—the dead summer’s soul.

Mary Clemmer.

Autumn, in his leafless bowers, is waiting for the winter’s snow.


  • Behold congenial Autumn comes,
  • The Sabbath of the year!
  • Logan.

    When bounteous autumn rears her head, he joys to pull the ripened pear.


    Wild is the music of autumnal winds amongst the faded woods.


  • The misty earth below is wan and drear,
  • The baying winds chase all the leaves away,
  • As cruel hounds pursue the trembling deer;
  • It is a solemn time, the sunset of the year.
  • R. H. Stoddard.

  • All-cheering plenty, with her flowing horn,
  • Led yellow Autumn, wreath’d with nodding corn.
  • Burns.

    When summer gathers up her robes of glory, and like a dream of beauty glides away.

    Sarah Helen Whitman.

    The spring, the summer, the chill autumn, angry winter, change their wonted liveries.


    The teeming autumn, big with rich increase, bearing the wanton burden of the prime.


  • Autumn wins you best by this, its mute
  • Appeal to sympathy for its decay.
  • Robert Browning.

    The tints of autumn—a mighty flower garden, blossoming under the spell of the enchanter, Frost.


  • The year growing ancient,
  • Nor yet on summer’s death, nor on the birth
  • Of trembling winter.
  • Shakespeare.

    As fall the light autumnal leaves, one still the other following, till the bough strews all its honors.


  • Crown’d with the sickle and the wheaten sheaf,
  • While Autumn, nodding o’er the yellow plain,
  • Comes jovial on.
  • Thomson.

    The lands are lit with all the autumn blaze of golden-rod, and everywhere the purple asters nod and bend and wave and flit.

    Helen Hunt.

    To her bier comes the year, not with weeping and distress, as mortals do; but to guide her way to it, all the trees have torches lit.

    Lucy Larcom.

    How strange and awful is the synthesis of life and death in the gusty winds and falling leaves of an autumnal day!


  • Thrice happy time,
  • Best portion of the various year, in which
  • Nature rejoiceth, smiling on her works
  • Lovely, to full perfection wrought.
  • Phillips.

  • It was Autumn, and incessant
  • Piped the quails from shocks and sheaves,
  • And, like living coals, the apples
  • Burned among the withering leaves.
  • Longfellow.

    However constant the visitations of sickness and bereavement, the fall of the year is most thickly strewn with the fall of human life.

    James Martineau.

  • Boughs are daily rifled
  • By the gusty thieves,
  • And the book of Nature
  • Getteth short of leaves.
  • Hood.

  • The melancholy days are come, the saddest of the year,
  • Of wailing winds, and naked woods, and meadows brown and sear.
  • Bryant.

  • Every season hath its pleasures;
  • Spring may boast her flowery prime,
  • Yet the vineyard’s ruby treasures
  • Brighten Autumn’s sob’rer time.
  • Moore.

  • The year’s in the wane;
  • There is nothing adorning;
  • The night has no eve,
  • And the day has no morning;
  • Cold winter gives warning!
  • Hood.

    The pale descending year, yet pleasing still, a gentler mood inspires; for now the leaf incessant rustles from the mournful grove, oft startling such as, studious, walk below, and slowly circles through the waving air.


  • Divinest Autumn! who may paint thee best,
  • Forever changeful o’er the changeful globe?
  • Who guess thy certain crown, thy favorite crest,
  • The fashion of thy many-colored robe?
  • R. H. Stoddard.

  • Autumn’s earliest frost had given
  • To the woods below
  • Hues of beauty, such as heaven
  • Lendeth to its bow;
  • And the soft breeze from the west
  • Scarcely broke their dreamy rest.
  • Whittier.

  • But see the fading, many color’d woods,
  • Shade deepening over shade, the country round
  • Imbrown; crowded umbrage, dusk and dun,
  • Of every hue, from wan declining green
  • To sooty dark.
  • Thomson.

    Who is there who, at this season, does not feel his mind impressed with a sentiment of melancholy? or who is able to resist that current of thought, which, from such appearances of decay, so naturally leads him to the solemn imagination of that inevitable fate which is to bring on alike the decay of life, of empire, and of nature itself?

    Sir A. Alison.

  • 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-eaves run;
  • To bend with apples the moss’d cottage trees,
  • And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core.
  • Keats.

  • O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stained
  • With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit
  • Beneath my shady roof; there thou mayst rest
  • And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe,
  • And all the daughters of the year shall dance!
  • Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers.
  • William Blake.

  • The summer’s throbbing chant is done
  • And mute the choral antiphon;
  • The birds have left the shivering pines
  • To flit among the trellised vines,
  • Or fan the air with scented plumes
  • Amid the love-sick orange blooms,
  • And thou art here alone—alone—
  • Sing, little bird! the rest have flown.
  • O. W. Holmes.

  • Then came the autumne, all in yellow clad,
  • As though he joy’d in his plenteous store,
  • Laden with fruits that made him laugh, full glad
  • That he had banished hunger, which tofore
  • Had by the belly oft him pinched sore;
  • Upon his head a wreath that was enrol’d
  • With ears of corne of every sort, he bore,
  • And in his hand a sickle did he holde,
  • To reape the ripened fruit the which the earth had yold.
  • Spenser.

  • What visionary tints the year puts on,
  • When falling leaves falter through motionless air
  • Or numbly cling and shiver to be gone!
  • How shimmer the low flats and pastures bare,
  • As with her nectar Hebe Autumn fills
  • The bowl between me and those distant hills,
  • And smiles and shakes abroad her misty, tremulous hair!
  • Lowell.

    A moral character is attached to autumnal scenes; the leaves falling like our years, the flowers fading like our hours, the clouds fleeting like our illusions, the light diminishing like our intelligence, the sun growing colder like our affections, the rivers becoming frozen like our lives—all bear secret relations to our destinies.


  • Yellow, mellow, ripened days,
  • Sheltered in a golden coating;
  • O’er the dreamy listless haze,
  • White and dainty cloudlets floating;
  • Winking at the blushing trees,
  • And the sombre, furrowed fallow;
  • Smiling at the airy ease
  • Of the southward flying swallow.
  • Sweet and smiling are thy ways,
  • Beauteous, golden Autumn days.
  • Will Carleton.

    However constant the visitations of sickness and bereavement, the fall of the year is most thickly strewn with the fall of human life. Everywhere the spirit of some sad power seems to direct the time; it hides from us the blue heavens, it makes the green wave turbid; it walks through the fields, and lays the damp ungathered harvest low; it cries out in the night wind and the shrill hail; it steals the summer bloom from the infant cheek; it makes old age shiver to the heart; it goes to the churchyard, and chooses many a grave.

    James Martineau.