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 Est. 1998


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Quotations about Autumn

Related Quotes      October      Seasons      Winter      Weather      Summer

Welcome to my perpetually-in-progress collection of quotations about autumn, with lots of long-forgotten excerpts from the 1800s (which I personally consider to be the hey-hey-hey!-day of beautiful literature). Gleefully grateful thanks to Google Books for the many hours of blissful browsing for some of those harvests, as well as to Michael P. Garofalo of for letting me borrow a few of his gems. Please enjoy this lovingly collected page of quotes on autumn, my favorite season! —tεᖇᖇ¡·g

Every blade in the field, every leaf in the forest, lays down its life in its season, as beautifully as it was taken up. It is the pastime of a full quarter of the year. Dead trees, sere leaves, dried grass and herbs—are not these a good part of our life? And what is that pride of our autumnal scenery but the hectic flush, the sallow and cadaverous countenance of vegetation? its painted throes, with the November air for canvas? ~Henry David Thoreau, letter to Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1842 March 11th

The bright summer had passed away, and gorgeous autumn was flinging its rainbow-tints of beauty on hill and dale. ~Cornelia L. Tuthill, "Virginia Dare: Or, the Colony of Roanoke," 1840

The foliage has been losing its freshness through the month of August, and here and there a yellow leaf shows itself like the first gray hair amidst the locks of a beauty who has seen one season too many.... September is dressing herself in showy dahlias and splendid marigolds and starry zinnias. October, the extravagant sister, has ordered an immense amount of the most gorgeous forest tapestry for her grand reception. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809–1894), "Autumn," The Atlantic Almanac, 1868

It was one of those perfect English autumnal days which occur more frequently in memory than in life. The rich colours of grass and earth were intensified by the mellow light of a sun almost warm enough for spring... ~P.D. James, A Taste for Death

Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love — that makes life and nature harmonize. The birds are consulting about their migrations, the trees are putting on the hectic or the pallid hues of decay, and begin to strew the ground, that one's very footsteps may not disturb the repose of earth and air, while they give us a scent that is a pefect anodyne to the restless spirit. Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. ~George Eliot, letter to Miss Lewis, 1st October 1841

No spring nor summer's beauty hath such grace
As I have seen in one Autumnal face....
~John Donne, "Elegy IX: The Autumnal"

Oh how we love pumpkin season. You did know this gourd-ish squash has its own season, right? Winter, Spring, Summer, Pumpkin.... We anxiously anticipate it every year. ~Trader Joe's Fearless Flyer, October 2010

Besides the Autumn poets sing
A few prosaic days
A little this side of the snow
And that side of the Haze...
Grant me, Oh Lord, a sunny mind—
Thy windy will to bear!
~Emily Dickinson

A hidden fire burns perpetually upon the hearth of the world.... In autumn this great conflagration becomes especially manifest. Then the flame that is slowly and mysteriously consuming every green thing bursts into vivid radiance. Every blade of grass and every leaf in the woodlands is cast into the great oven of Nature; and the bright colours of their fading are literally the flames of their consuming. The golden harvest-fields are glowing in the heart of the furnace.... By this autumn fire God every year purges the floor of nature. All effete substances that have served their purpose in the old form are burnt up. Everywhere God makes sweet and clean the earth with fire. ~Hugh Macmillan

falling leaves
hide the path
so quietly
~John Bailey, "Autumn," a haiku year, 2001, as posted on

Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons. ~Jim Bishop

[T]he sun declined, and we both fell into twilight silence. Night, which in autumn seems to fall from the sky at once, it comes so quickly, chilled us, and we rolled ourselves in our cloaks... ~Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly, Les Diaboliques

[T]hat old September feeling... of summer passing, vacation nearly done, obligations gathering, books and football in the air.... Another fall, another turned page: there was something of jubilee in that annual autumnal beginning, as if last year's mistakes and failures had been wiped clean by summer. ~Wallace Stegner

Pale amber sunlight falls across
The reddening October trees....
Are we not better and at home
In dreamful Autumn, we who deem
No harvest joy is worth a dream?
A little while and night shall come,
A little while, then, let us dream...
~Ernest Dowson (1867–1900), "Autumnal"

Autumn repays the earth the leaves which summer lent it. ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799), translated by Norman Alliston, 1908

And the Autumn clutches the forests green
In a hasty and eager clasp;
But the leaves are true to the Summer they love,
And they wither and fade in his grasp.
~J.J. Britton (1832–1913), "Death"

The days may not be so bright and balmy—yet the quiet and melancholy that linger around them is fraught with glory. Over everything connected with autumn there lingers some golden spell—some unseen influence that penetrates the soul with its mysterious power. ~Northern Advocate

The human soul is slow to discover the real excellence of things given to us by a bountiful Creator, and not until the shadows of death begin to gather around the object that we love, do we see its worth and beauty. Autumn is the dim shadow that clusters about the sweet, precious things that God has created in the realm of nature. While it robs them of life, it tears away the veil and reveals the golden gem of beauty and sweetness. Beauty lurks in all the dim old aisles of nature, and we discover it at last. ~Northern Advocate

October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came,—
The Ashes, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The sunshine spread a carpet,
And every thing was grand;
Miss Weather led the dancing;
Professor Wind, the band....
The sight was like a rainbow
New-fallen from the sky....
~George Cooper (1840–1927), "October's Party," c.1887

Magnificent Autumn! He comes not like a pilgrim, clad in russet weeds. He comes not like a hermit, clad in gray. But he comes like a warrior, with the stain of blood upon his brazen mail. His crimson scarf is rent.... The wind.... wafts to us the odor of forest leaves, that hang wilted on the dripping branches, or drop into the stream. Their gorgeous tints are gone, as if the autumnal rains had washed them out. Orange, yellow, and scarlet, all are changed to one melancholy russet hue.... There is a melancholy and continual roar in the tops of the tall pines.... It is the funeral anthem of the dying year. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Dead leaves heap on the window-sill,
Dead leaves drift on the path below,
And full of wintry, prophetic chill
The dreary tempests of autumn blow.
~Elizabeth Anne Chase Akers Allen, "Married and Gone," The Sunset–song and other Verses, 1902

...I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house. So I have spent almost all the daylight hours in the open air. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne, 10th October 1842

Come, pensive Autumn, with thy clouds, and storms,
And falling leaves, and pastures lost to flowers;
A luscious charm hangs on thy faded forms,
More sweet than Summer in her loveliest hours...
~John Clare, "To Autumn," The Village Minstrel, and Other Poems, 1821

Autumn is springtime in reverse. ~Terri Guillemets, "Falling up," 1999

I can smell autumn dancing in the breeze.
The sweet chill of pumpkin and crisp sunburnt leaves.
~Author unknown

Methinks I see the sunset light flooding the river valley, the western hills stretching to the horizon, overhung with trees gorgeous and glowing with the tints of autumn—a mighty flower garden, blossoming under the spell of the enchanter, Frost... ~John Greenleaf Whittier, "Patucket Falls"

Autumn burned brightly, a running flame through the mountains, a torch flung to the trees. ~Faith Baldwin, American Family

Mark how the forest now hath doffed its green,
And Nature dons her cloak of many hues;
Now reigns the holy beauty of Decay!
How calmly sleeps the lake: the coloured woods
Reflected on its face in thousand tints...
Like rainbows wreck'd, all the gay woods do sing...
~James Rigg, "The Poet's Ramble in October," Wild Flower Lyrics and Other Poems, 1897

Autumn is the season of change. ~Taoist proverb

The softened light, the veiling haze,
The calm repose of autumn days,
Steal gently o'er the troubled breast,
Soothing life's weary cares to rest.
~Phebe A. Holder, "A Song of October," in The Queries Magazine, October 1890

It is a delightful pastime to sit in the pleasant sunshine of autumn, and gazing from this little spot of free earth over such a landscape, let the imagination luxuriate amid the thrilling associations of the scene! ~H.T. Tuckerman, "San Marino"

The transparent haze which rests upon the mountain-top at noon,—the calmness in the air, and the clearness of the sky, now have a most mysterious influence upon the heart. The "still small voice" of nature makes us thoughtful; and seems to invite us to think upon the swiftness with which our days are passing away. How often at such an hour, have I been startled by the beating of my own heart! And the sunsets of Autumn,—are they not gorgeous beyond description? more so than the brightest dreams of poetry? ~Charles Lanman, "The Dying Year," 1840

[A]rrayed in gypsy dress of pink and gold,
Crest of crimson tint and folds of fading green,
Stand the woods in tranquil beauty as of old,
Stretching into vistas dim and opaline;
When the Year is ripe and mellow it is meet
Earth should echo, "Peace is blessed; rest is sweet."
~C.B. Galbreath, "Autumn Afternoon," This Crimson Flower, In Flanders Field—An Answer, and Other Verse, 1919

      The time of the falling leaves has come again. Once more in our morning walk we tread upon carpets of gold and crimson, of brown and bronze, woven by the winds or the rains out of these delicate textures while we slept.
      How beautifully the leaves grow old! How full of light and color are their last days! There are exceptions, of course. The leaves of most of the fruit-trees fade and wither and fall ingloriously. They bequeath their heritage of color to their fruit. Upon it they lavish the hues which other trees lavish upon their leaves....
      But in October what a feast to the eye our woods and groves present! The whole body of the air seems enriched by their calm, slow radiance. They are giving back the light they have been absorbing from the sun all summer.
      ~John Burroughs, "The Falling Leaves," Under the Maples

There are two times of year: autumn and waiting for autumn. ~Internet meme

The breath of autumn had already passed along the foliage, and a coming death had spread over its hues golden, brown and crimson—a strange gaiety of decay, which, with all its beauty, carries an idea of sadness into one's heart. ~T.H.E., "The German's Daughter," 1840

When autumn dulls the summer skies,
And paler sunshine softly lies
Upon the brown and fallow lands:—
As fairy artists come in bands
To paint with brushes dipped with frost:—
They pay with gold, for verdure lost...
~V.O. Wallingford (b.1876), "The Cottonwood Trees"

Summer ends, and Autumn comes, and he who would have it otherwise would have high tide always and a full moon every night; and thus he would never know the rhythms that are at the heart of life. ~Hal Borland

But you can't plead with autumn. No. The midnight wind stalked through the woods, hooted to frighten you, swept everything away for the approaching winter, whirled the leaves. ~Evgeniĭ Ivanovich Zami͡a︡tin/Yevgeny Zamyatin

'Tis Autumn! and the short'ning day,
The chilly evening's sober gray,
And winds that hoarser blow;
The fading foliage of the trees,
Which rustles sere in every breeze,
The approach of Winter show.
~Bernard Barton, "Stanzas on the Approach of Winter" (stanza I), Napoleon and Other Poems, 1822

Winter is dead; spring is crazy; summer is cheerful and autumn is wise! ~Mehmet Murat ildan

Well, it's a marvelous night for a moondance
With the stars up above in your eyes
A fantabulous night to make romance
'Neath the cover of October skies
And all the leaves on the trees are falling
To the sound of the breezes that blow
And I'm trying to please to the calling
Of your heartstrings that play soft and low...
~Van Morrison, "Moondance," recorded 1969

If you stand still outside you can hear it... Winter's footsteps, the sound of falling leaves. ~Animal Crossing: Wild World (Nintendo video game) written by Takayuki Ikkaku, Arisa Hosaka, and Toshihiro Kawabata

A beauty lights the fading year... ~Phebe A. Holder, "A Song of October," in The Queries Magazine, October 1890

The music of the far-away summer flutters around the Autumn seeking its former nest. ~Rabindranath Tagore, Stray Birds

Aprils have never meant much to me, autumns seem that season of beginning, spring.... I thought of the future, and spoke of the past. ~Truman Capote

Of all the seasons, autumn offers the most to man and requires the least of him. ~Hal Borland

On the whole I take it that middle age is a happier period than youth. In the entire circle of the year there are no days so delightful as those of a fine October, when the trees are bare to the mild heavens, and the red leaves bestrew the road, and you can feel the breath of winter morning and evening—no days so calm, so tenderly solemn, and with such a reverent meekness in the air. ~Alexander Smith (1829–1867), "An Essay on an Old Subject"

When the Year from fruitful labor turns to rest...
Founts of warmth and comfort in my being flow...
~C.B. Galbreath, "Autumn Afternoon," This Crimson Flower, In Flanders Field—An Answer, and Other Verse, 1919

Catch a vista of maples in that long light and you see Autumn glowing through the leaves.... The promise of gold and crimson is there among the branches, though as yet it is achieved on only a stray branch, an impatient limb or an occasional small tree which has not yet learned to time its changes. ~Hal Borland

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 hush'd earth
Love, rest—but nothing grieves.
Better I like old autumn
With his hair toss'd to and fro,
Firm striding o'er the stubble fields
When the equinoctials blow.
~Dinah Mulock Craik (1826–1887), "October"

[L]o! the eventide of the year, the melancholy season of Autumn.... the widowed quail, which is shivering on the fallen tree, utters her plaintive cry, causing a momentary sadness to oppress his heart. The oak rears its head above the plain, but is stripped of its foliage,—naked and alone,—a fit emblem of man in the hour of adversity. We see the leaves floating on the bosom of the river, and we feel that such too will soon be our condition. ~Charles Lanman, "The Dying Year," 1840

[T]here is a harmony
In autumn, and a lustre in its sky...
~Percy Bysshe Shelley

I cannot write of things which even impassioned breath cannot utter. Autumn is coming with its days of gold, its days of reverie and of you—oh, such delightful hours that my heart burns within me at the anticipation. ~Byron Caldwell Smith, letter to Kate Stephens

The narrow bud opens her beauties to
The sun, and love runs in her thrilling veins;
Blossoms hang round the brows of morning, and
Flourish down the bright cheek of modest eve...
~William Blake (1757-1827), "To Autumn"

O' pumpkin pie, your time has come 'round again and I am autumnrifically happy! ~Terri Guillemets

Look, how the maple o'er a sea of green
Waves in the autumnal wind his flag of red!
First struck of all the forest's spreading screen,
Most beauteous, too, the earliest of her dead.
~Jones Very (1813–1880), "The Frost"

In autumn, don't go to jewelers to see gold; go to the parks! ~Mehmet Murat ildan

Aye thou art welcome—heaven's delicious breath!—
When woods begin to wear the crimson leaf,
And suns grow meek, and the meek suns grow brief,
And the year smiles as it draws near its death.
~William Cullen Bryant (1794–1878), "Sonnet—October"

And myriad leaves, on which the Summer wrote
Her blushing farewell, at my feet were strown.
~Albert Laighton (1829–1887), "In the Woods," c.1859

Such days of autumnal decline hold a strange mystery which adds to the gravity of all our moods. Every step that Time takes imprints upon the fields as they grow bare and brown... ~Charles Nodier, Trilby, ou le lutin d'Argail/Trilby: The Fairy of Argyle, 1822

Just after the death of the flowers,
And before they are buried in snow,
There comes a festival season,
When nature is all aglow—
Aglow with a mystical spendour
That rivals the brightness of spring,
Aglow with a beauty more tender
Than aught which fair summer could bring....
~Emeline B. Smith, "Indian Summer"

[A]utumn, that season of peculiar and inexhaustible influence on the mind of taste and tenderness, that season which has drawn from every poet, worthy of being read, some attempt at description, or some lines of feeling. She occupied her mind as much as possible in such like musings and quotations... ~Jane Austen

Autumn binds poetry in its own withered leaves. ~Terri Guillemets

It is about five o'clock in an evening that the first hour of spring strikes — autumn arrives in the early morning, but spring at the close of a winter day. ~Elizabeth Bowen, The Death of the Heart

I walked alone in the depths of Autumn woods;
The ruthless winds had left the maple bare;
The fern was withered, and the sweetbrier's breath
No longer gave its fragrance to the air.
~Albert Laighton (1829–1887), "In the Woods," c.1859

Just as a painter needs light in order to put the finishing touches to his picture, so I need an inner light, which I feel I never have enough of in the autumn. ~Leo Tolstoy, to Nikolay Strakhov

Is, then, September come so soon?
Full time doth summer ne'er abide?
While yet it seems but summer's noon,
We're floating down the autumn tide.
~Eunice E. Comstock, The Atlantic Monthly, October 1873

Then summer fades and passes, and October comes. Will smell smoke then, and feel an unsuspected sharpness, a thrill of nervous, swift elation, a sense of sadness and departure. ~Thomas Wolfe (1900–1938), You Can't Go Home Again

We might call it fall fever, but we don't, perhaps because it is restlessness rather than lassitude. It is more like wanderlust, though the wanderer merely wants to go, to see new places, and the urgency now is to see old, familiar places again. Autumn burnishes the memories as well as the hills. ~Hal Borland, "The Summons," October 1967

green-veined leaves suddenly blushing copper
bronze-edged trees swaying in autumn breezes
gold foliage drifting past pewter branches baring all
brass-hued leaflets dying in beauty, falling in grace
~Terri Guillemets, "In the Autumn Wood," 2016

The Season was waning to its close. The gardens showed but little of the ravages of autumn as yet. The noble avenues of trees were still in their glory of fulness and expansive verdure; although here and there a few fallen leaves seemed to have fluttered down to earth as premature heralds of decay. The later flowers were gorgeous in their many-coloured splendour, though their earlier sisters had already lived the best of their lives, and now drooped their heads, as if to hide their blighted charms. ~J. Palgrave Simpson, For Ever and Never, 1884, wording slightly altered

A glorious crown the year puts on... ~Phebe A. Holder, "A Song of October," in The Queries Magazine, October 1890

This is the feast-time of the year
When hearts grow warm and home more dear;
When Autumn's crimson torch expires
To flash again in winter fires;
And they who tracked October's flight
Through woods with gorgeous hues bedight,
In charmèd circle sit and praise
The goodly log's triumphant blaze.
~Harriet McEwen Kimball (1834–1917), "The Feast-Time of the Year," c.1880

It was a late-October Sunday, the leaves tinged with brown, and the air crisp in a way that made you shiver if you stood still too long. ~Joe Kita, "Growing Old and Staying Young," Wisdom of Our Fathers, 1999

I step outside and the chilly air tightens the skin on my bare arms. Summer has ended all too quickly, and some of the leaves on the trees have already started to burn with the colors of fall. Fall colors.... so bright and intense and beautiful. It's like nature is trying to fill you up with color, to saturate you so you can stockpile it before winter turns everything muted and dreary. ~Siobhan Vivian, Same Difference

Around and around the house the leaves fall thick—but never fast, for they come circling down with a dead lightness that is sombre and slow. Let the gardener sweep and sweep the turf as he will, and press the leaves into full barrows, and wheel them off, still they lie ankle-deep. ~Charles Dickens, Bleak House

O autumn, laden with fruit, and stain'd
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 (1757-1827), "To Autumn"

"I'm dreading fall. It is a terrifying season," he says... "Everything shriveling up and dying." I don't know how to answer. Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale. I've never thought to be frightened of it. ~Lauren DeStefano, Wither

There he goes, in his long russet surtout, sweeping down yonder gravel-walk, beneath the trees, like a yellow leaf in autumn wafted along by a fitful gust of wind. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, of Monsieur d'Argentville

The world is tired, the year is old,
The faded leaves are glad to die...
~Sara Teasdale, "November"

The sun tires of summer and sighs itself into autumn. ~Terri Guillemets

Somewhere along the way, I realized that the new year doesn't begin for me in January. The new and fresh has always come for me in the Fall. Ironically, as leaves are falling like rain, crunching beneath my feet with finality, I am vibrating with the excitement of birth and new beginnings.... My year begins in Autumn. ~Betsy Cañas Garmon, "On birthday cake and pouring oil," 2013 November 5th,

I cherish the loneliness of autumn.... I am forty, I have become mortal. I have no further psychic, emotional, or intellectual need to prolong summer seasons, and it is only when autumn begins its play that I can truly focus on the rich and vital life I am living. All of a sudden I grow alert. October is a hallelujah! reverberating in my body year-round.... The air is dusty, it smells of dry pine needles; yet I sense imminent ice in the clear blue sky.... How I appreciate everything…fully! After all, tomorrow this reprieve will be buried by blizzards, crushed under slabs of doomsday ice. I cannot waste a minute indoors! I must take advantage of this gift, wedged so tentatively between summer's hectic somnolence and winter's harsh apogee.... Each perfect day, I know, is going to be the last beautiful day of autumn. ~John Nichols (b.1940), The Last Beautiful Days of Autumn

After the leaves have fallen, we return
To a plain sense of things....
It is difficult even to choose the adjective
For this blank cold, this sadness without cause...
~Wallace Stevens

Autumn bows to place a beautiful crown on the Queen of Morning whose velvet robes sway merrily in the chilly breeze. ~Terri Guillemets

      Rural and suburban householders are busy now with rake and fork and harrow, cleaning and neatening the dooryard, the lawn, and the garden. Everything must be in order for the winter. But down the road and across the valley, where autumn itself is in charge, nobody is bothering about the unkempt look...
      Man must rake and cart away, to soothe his conscience and proclaim his tenancy. Nature doesn't bother. The tree thrives on its own trash and the seed sprouts in its parent's midden heap. Each new spring grows on autumn's leftovers. ~Hal Borland, "Autumn's Leftovers," November 1975

Sated and weary the Summer is lying,
Dreamily living his youth again,
And the harvest sprites are flitting and flying,
Fanning his brows with the golden grain...
And the flowers fold up from the close dense air,
And a shadowy sleep sits everywhere.
~J.J. Britton (1832–1913), "Death"

Fallen leaves of Tulip Poplar rainplastered everywhere. Autumn's going out with a "splat!" ~David J. Beard (1947–2016), tweet, 2009 October 28th

The cool, bright days,
The calm, bright days,
With their liberal-hearted noons!
The clear, still nights,
The restful nights,
With their greatening harvest-moons...
~Harriet McEwen Kimball (1834–1917), "In Autumn," c.1864

It was, as I have said, a fine autumnal day; the sky was clear and serene, and nature wore that rich and golden livery which we always associate with the idea of abundance. The forests had put on their sober brown and yellow, while some trees of the tenderer kind had been nipped by the frosts into brilliant dyes of orange, purple, and scarlet.... As Ichabod jogged slowly on his way, his eye... ranged with delight over the treasures of jolly autumn. ~Washington Irving, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"

In shadowy woods the brown nuts fall
As sweeps the wind through tree tops tall...
In golden bars through leafy doors
The sunshine falls on forest floors...
~Phebe A. Holder, "A Song of October," in The Queries Magazine, October 1890

The last faded autumn leaflet hangs from a frozen branch, just a short fall from the tree to winter. ~Terri Guillemets

Autumn! sad, sighing, yet most lovely Autumn, again art thou here; and again with feelings "pleasant but mournful to my soul," do I greet thy return. And the strangest feelings of mingled pleasure and pain are awakened at thy approach, though thou excitest emotions less rapturous and fancies less playful, yet hath thy presence for me a solace and a spell unfelt amid the greener verdure, brighter sunbeams and more fragrant flowers of Summer. Dearer to me than the clustering roses of June, are they withered stalk and falling leaf.... And for the heart, the busy, changeful human heart, thou hast a thousand stirring chords, whose vibrations awaken with an electric influence its slumbering sensibilities, and whose sympathetic music responds with all the truth of an echo. ~Elizabeth J. Eames, "An Autumn Reverie," October 1840

...I see
the turning of a leaf
dancing in an autumn sun,
and brilliant shades of crimson
glowing when a day is done...
~Hazelmarie "Mattie" Elliott, "A Breath of Heaven"

Autumn thanks the sun with an abundant harvest. ~Terri Guillemets

Essentially, autumn is the quiet completion of spring and summer. Spring was all eagerness and beginnings, summer was growth and flowering. Autumn is the achievement summarized, the harvested grain, the ripened apple, the grape in the wine press. Autumn is the bright leaf in the woodland, the opened husk on the bittersweet berry, the froth of asters at the roadside. ~Hal Borland, "Autumn," September 1967

Day by day the vine-leaves curl
Revealing the heavily hanging grapes
In tempting clusters of rarest shapes,
That out of the heart of summer grew;
Dusky-purple and amber-white,
Warmed in the nooning and cooled in the night,
Mingled of honey, and sunlight, and dew.
~Harriet McEwen Kimball (1834–1917), "In Autumn," c.1864

Ah, yes, autumn, when the trees blush at the thought of stripping naked in public. ~Robert Brault,

The garden still is green
      And green the trees around,
      But the winds are roaring overhead
      And branches strew the ground.
And to-day on the garden pool
      Floating an autumn leaf;
      How rush the seasons, rush the years,
      And, O, how life is brief!
~Richard Watson Gilder, "Early Autumn," The Atlantic Monthly, July 1908

There is no season in all the year so beautiful, so radiant with glory, as the early autumn. There is no time when the human soul drinks in so fully the glory and beauty of nature. All objects of beauty are more beautiful while passing away from us. The closing up of a beautiful life—the fading of the holy stars in the dim light of morning—the ending of a quiet summer day and the passing away of the bright summer glory, are all more sweet and lovely as they are lost to us. The death-glow always beautifies anything that wears the trace of beauty ere it goes back to nothingness. We do not understand the secret of this principle, yet we know that it is some law of the infinite mind. ~Northern Advocate

Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day!
Every leaf speaks bliss to me,
Fluttering from the autumn tree...
~Emily Brontë

Autumn is the eternal corrective. It is ripeness and color and a time of completion; but it is also breadth, and depth, and distance. What man can stand with Autumn on a hilltop and fail to see the span of his world and the substance of the rolling hills that reach to the far horizon? ~Hal Borland

Autumn breathes in golden sunshine and breathes out frosty snow. ~Terri Guillemets

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. ~Albert Camus

Dulled to a drowsy fire, one vaguely sees
The sun in heaven, where this broad, smoky round
Lies ever brooding at the horizon's bound...
[T]hrough damp desolate woodlands' naked trees...
Like sighs from spirits of perished hours, resound
The melancholy melodies of the breeze!
~Edgar Fawcett, "Indian Summer," in The Atlantic Monthly, November 1877

Autumn writes her own poetry,
we are merely observers.
~Terri Guillemets

It was in the declining flush of a beautiful autumn evening, that I stood alone in the quiet solitude of a stately forest's edge. I had wandered long, in the spirit of deep and solemn meditation, through scenes which might well arouse the soul of the poet, or quicken the painter's eye.... The forest was full of rich coloring and exuberant foliage. Scarlet, purple, gold—the different shades of brown, from its darkest and reddest duskiness, to the palest fawn hue—a soft and saddening intermixture of greyish tints, contrasting with the glossy green of the yet unchanged oak, the monarch of trees, and his many and strong wood relatives—and with the bluer verdure of the pines, the silver-lined laurel leaves, and the feathery cedar—all these were mingled to make a splendor gorgeous, yet harmonious, and as I gazed upward at the sun, which beamed, mild and red, through an atmosphere of blue and softening mist, I caught his ruby glance down the glossy green ash-leaves, and thought in my soul that there ought to be, if there were not, an inhabiting spirit for every leaf in the forest, and for every rich sun-gleam that colored and rayed the air, in this glowing and glorious Indian summer! ~Mary Howard, "Mr. Lindsay's Manuscript," c.1840

I loved autumn, the one season of the year that God seemed to have put there just for the beauty of it. ~Lee Maynard

We followed up the winding road
      Where shore and river kissed each other,
      And Nature's peace our hearts o'erflowed
      That lingering October weather.
Against the backdrop of the pines
      The birch and maple leaned together;
      A flame ran through the blackberry vines
      That lingering October weather.
~Harriet McEwen Kimball (1834–1917), "The Lingering October Weather," Poems, 1889

Autumn mornings:  sunshine and crisp air, birdsong and calmness, year's end and day's beginnings. ~Terri Guillemets

There ought to be a way to combine "autumn" and "morning" into one word — the combination of the two is special enough to be its own entity. ~Terri Guillemets

The genial sunlight melts on the hills
The breath of the morning white and cold;
By the wayside bend sprays of aster bloom
And the forest turns to russet and gold...
~C.B. Galbreath, "Autumn Leaves," October 1918

Autumn will come whether or not you enjoyed summer. ~Terri Guillemets

Not everything is black or white
Some things are misty grey
Like mornings in the early fall
when gauzy curtains hang on trees...
~H. Joanne Hardee, from "Some Things Are Grey," in Our Western World's Most Beautiful Poems, edited and published by John Campbell, World of Poetry Press, 1985

But when fall comes, kicking summer out on its treacherous ass as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed. It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favorite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since last he saw you. ~Stephen King, 'Salem's Lot

[Fall] hurries you along as you walk the roads, crunching the leaves that have fallen in mad and variegated drifts. The wind makes you ache in some place that is deeper than your bones. It may be that it touches something old in the human soul, a chord of race memory that says Migrate or die—migrate or die. ~Stephen King, 'Salem's Lot

And if there are no cars or planes, and if no one's Uncle John is out in the wood lot west of town banging away at a quail or pheasant; if the only sound is the slow beat of your own heart, you can hear another sound, and that is the sound of life winding down to its cyclic close, waiting for the first winter snow to perform last rites. ~Stephen King, 'Salem's Lot

Summer plays beneath the sultry sun,
Autumn brings lots of work to be done...
~Terri Guillemets, "Harvest," 2007

The frosty brightness of the autumn colors faded in the winds of October. By November the red and gold leaves that had heaped the woods road were shriveled and brown. ~Gerald Raftery (1905–1986), Snow Cloud, 1951

Behold, in yon stripped Autumn, shivering gray,
Earth knows no desolation,
She smells regeneration
In the moist breath of decay.
~George Meredith (1828–1909), "Ode to the Spirit of Earth in Autumn"

We are reformers in the spring and summer, but in autumn we stand by the old. Reformers in the morning, and conservers at night. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

...September days are here,
With summer's best of weather,
And autumn's best of cheer.
~Helen Hunt Jackson

Autumn leaves blaze their swan song of colors and wait for winter to wipe the slate clean. ~Terri Guillemets

Autumn is the hush before winter. ~French Proverb

The sunlight sleeps in valleys cool,
And sparkles on the dimpling pool,
Slants through the pines in yellow gleams,
Enwraps the hills in warm, bright beams;
The calm day done, soft shadows glide
From forest depth and mountain side,
The harvest moon with purest light
Comes forth to glory-crown the night.
~Phebe A. Holder, "A Song of October," in The Queries Magazine, October 1890

I am struck by the simplicity of light in the atmosphere in the autumn, as if the earth absorbed none, and out of this profusion of dazzling light came the autumnal tints. ~Henry David Thoreau, Oct. 12, 1852

The weather turned cooler after the storm. Real August weather... The days were brisk and clear and blue, and the nights were chilly. As the chorus of the crickets and the katydids died down to a mere murmur, people talked of an early frost. ~Gerald Raftery, Snow Cloud, 1951

The matron dignity of Autumn's tread
Can bring with it a joy more grave and deep,
While Nature decks and gilds her funeral bed
Ere yet she sinks in Winter's death-like sleep.
~Fanny Charlotte Wyndham Montgomery (1820–1893), "Moonlight," 1846

It was one of the loveliest days in early autumn, and the general atmosphere had a tendency to subdue every feeling of the heart, and threw me in a thoughtful mood. ~Charles Lanman, "Musings," 1840

That soft autumnal time...
The woodland foliage now
      Is gathered by the wild November blast...
And the bright flowers are gone.
But these, these are thy charms—
      Mild airs, and tempered light upon the lea,
      And the year holds no time within his arms,
      That doth resemble thee....
The year's last, loveliest smile,
      Thou com'st to fill with hope the human heart,
      And strengthen it to bear the storms awhile,
      Till winter's frowns depart....
Far in a sheltered nook,
      I've met, in these calm days, a smiling flower,
      A lonely aster, trembling by a brook,
      At the quiet noontides' hour:
And something told my mind
      That, should old age to childhood call me back,
      Some sunny days and flowers I still might find
      Along life's weary track.
~John Howard Bryant (1807-1902), "The Indian Summer"

After the first autumn rains, how inimitable the beauty of days—the fall colors, not yet faded, washed out, in the winter deluge, but dripping, glistening, every crystal drop refracting the hue it trickles over. Running, draining color, brighter before the soil takes back again the positive red and yellow and blue to weave into the misty textures of spring. ~Virginia Garland, "The Rain," Out West: A Magazine of the Old Pacific and the New, February 1908

Adieu to those more cheerful hours,
Spent amid Spring's unfolding flowers,
Or Summer's soothing shade;
A few short weeks,—and then adieu
To fields and groves of changeful hue,
By Autumn's hand array'd!
~Bernard Barton, "Stanzas on the Approach of Winter" (stanza II), Napoleon and Other Poems, 1822

For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together. For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad. ~Edwin Way Teale, Autumn Across America

So ghostly and strange a look the blurred world wears,
Viewed from this flowerless garden's dreary squares,
That now, while these weird, vaporous days exist,
It would not seem a marvel if where we walk
We met, dim-glimmering on its thorny stalk,
Some pale, intangible rose, with leaves of mist!
~Edgar Fawcett, "Indian Summer," in The Atlantic Monthly, November 1877

Thanksgiving is the winding up of autumn. The leaves are off the trees, except here and there on a beech or an oak; there is nothing left on the boughs but a few nuts and empty birds' nests. The earth looks desolate, and it will be a comfort to have the snow on the ground, and to hear the merry jingle of the sleigh-bells. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

When the bold branches
Bid farewell to rainbow leaves —
Welcome wool sweaters.
~B. Cybrill

The hush comes with the deepening of Autumn; but it comes gradually. Our ears are attuned to it, day by quieter day. But even now, if one awakens in the deep darkness of the small hours, one can hear it, a foretaste of Winter silence. It's a little painful now, and a little lonely because it is so strange. ~Hal Borland

Wild is the music of autumnal winds
Amongst the faded woods.
~William Wordsworth

The golden days! the golden days!
Warm with sunshine and dreamy with haze;
Warm with the sunshine and cool with the breeze!
Like troops of tropical butterflies
Clouds of leaves from the gorgeous trees
      Flutter and fall,
And cover the earth with splendid dyes
Matching the marvels of sunset skies.
~Harriet McEwen Kimball (1834–1917), "In Autumn," c.1864

She loved the fall, all the sun-faded colors of summer repainted by vivid reds and golds still clinging fragilely to branches that would soon be covered with snow. ~Naomi Ragen, The Tenth Song, 2010

Time remorselessly rumbles down the corridors and streets of our lives. But it is not until autumn that most of us become aware that our tickets are stamped with a terminal destination…that whatever can be done with our thoughts, words, and actions must be done soon. As we hypnotically watch the steadily diminishing reserve of sand in Life's hourglass, the instincts of a miser surface. Life is now savored, sipped as with a fine nineteenth-century French wine.... It is during the autumn of our lives that this inner vintage begins to sculpt and paint the face as it seeps through the skin from within. ~Joe L. Wheeler, Remote Controlled: How TV Affects You and Your Family

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;
Blazing red the maples shine the woodlands through...
~Lucy Larcom, "The Indian Summer"

early morning in maple woods
angels in the leaves
October, breathtaking amber bliss
autumn chill and artists' colors
painted full of wonderment
~Terri Guillemets, "Maple fall," 2019, blackout poetry created from Louise Penny, Still Life, 2005, pages 1–5

      Another equinox occurs and, by those charts and markers we use to divide time and measure our lives, today is autumn. For a little while now, days and nights will be almost equal, dawn to dusk, dusk to dawn, and the sun will rise and set almost true east and west. Then it will be October, tenth month of our twelve-month year, and moving toward the winter solstice.
      So much for the arbitrary boundaries, which are for the almanacs and the record books, even less imperative than the figures on a sundial. The autumn with which we live is as variable as the wind, the weather, the land itself. Its schedule is that of the woodland trees, the wild grasses, the migrant birds. Go to northern Maine and you can walk with frost. Go to Carolina and you can bask in late summer sun. Travel north or south and you touch the year in another place. Stay where you are and it comes to you in its own time...
      Leave the equinox to the record-keepers and know autumn where you find it, when it comes. See it, smell it, taste, it, and forget the time of day or year. Autumn needs no clock or calendar. ~Hal Borland, "Autumn," September 1967

Fiery colors begin their yearly conquest of the hills, propelled by the autumn winds. Fall is the artist. ~Animal Crossing: Wild World (Nintendo video game) written by Takayuki Ikkaku, Arisa Hosaka, and Toshihiro Kawabata

Autumn is the antidote to stifling summer. ~Terri Guillemets, "Remedy falls," 2006

Soon the leaves will all be turning,
      From their many shades of green,
      Into colors bright and gorgeous...
Reds and yellows, browns and orange,
      Underneath the smiling sun,
      Each leaf vying with the other
      In the change they've now begun.
Giving up their Summer wardrobes,
      Gladly; joyfully, with glee,
      Putting on their Autumn trousseau,
      As they leave their mother tree...
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "The Wedding of the Leaves" (1940s)

It was October again... a glorious October, all red and gold, with mellow mornings when the valleys were filled with delicate mists as if the spirit of autumn had poured them in for the sun to drain — amethyst, pearl, silver, rose, and smoke-blue. The dews were so heavy that the fields glistened like cloth of silver and there were such heaps of rustling leaves in the hollows of many-stemmed woods to run crisply through. ~L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Autumn air ignites the heart
with crisp leaved dreams returning
where flame and glory recklessly
pile memories for burning!
~Lorraine Babbitt, "Phantom Fires," Arizona Highways, November 1970

Early autumn's peaceful slant of morning light — the first soul calm since late spring's farewell breezes. ~Terri Guillemets

And in my heart, sweet Autumn, thou art the awakener of many, many things. At thy touch the deep fountain of memory is stirred, and its shadowy bank is thronged with many cherished images and hallowed recollections of the Past! ~Elizabeth J. Eames, "An Autumn Reverie," October 1840

[A] shudder crawls thro' the darkening skies,
And the clouds knit close, like a leaden wall,
And thicker and thicker the red leaves fall...
~J.J. Britton (1832–1913), "Death"

The autumn always gets me badly, as it breaks into colours. I want to go south, where there is no autumn, where the cold doesn't crouch over one like a snow-leopard waiting to pounce. ~D.H. Lawrence, letter to J.M. Murray, 3rd October 1924

The spirits of the air live on the smells
Of fruit; and joy, with pinions light, roves round
The gardens, or sits singing in the trees...
~William Blake (1757-1827), "To Autumn"

The Sussex lanes were very lovely in the autumn. I started going for long lone country walks among the spendthrift gold and glory of the year-end, giving myself up to the earth-scents and the sky-winds and all the magic of the countryside which is ordained for the healing of the soul. ~Monica Baldwin, I Leap Over the Wall: Contrasts and Impressions After Twenty-Eight Years in a Convent

Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits. ~Samuel Butler, The Way of All Flesh  [written in the context of aging —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

Autumn, gorgeous in yellow and red,
Is the harvest time, when man is led
To garner the fruits of sweat and toil
From dear Mother Earth, the deep rich soil...
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham, "The Four Seasons" (1940s)

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 relation to our destinies. It gave me indescribable pleasure to see the return of the tempestuous season... ~François-René de Chateaubriand, "My Autumn Joys"

Ev'ry season hath its pleasures:
Spring may boast her flow'ry prime,
Yet the vineyard's ruby treasures
Brighten autumn's sob'rer time...
Nor regret the blossoms dying,
While we still can taste the fruit.
~Thomas Moore, "Spring and Autumn" [written in the context of aging —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

Autumn doesn't always promise that Winter will come, but she works hard until every colored leaf has reached its destination. ~Terri Guillemets, "Autumnus opus," 2016

At the close of a long hot summer, the appearance of the pumpkin heralds the welcome arrival of autumn. ~Kari Spencer,

The smile that flickers on baby's lips when he sleeps — does anyone know where it was born? Yes, there is a rumor that a young pale beam of a crescent moon touched the edge of a vanishing autumn cloud, and there the smile was first born in the dream of a dew-washed morning. ~Rabindranath Tagore

The day after the day that I walk out the front door and the air is crisp, with just a hint of the Autumn days ahead, I put cinnamon in my coffee. ~Betsy Cañas Garmon,

[A]utumn... is mature, reasonable and serious, it glows moderately and not frivolously.... ~Valentin

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun...
~John Keats (1795–1821), "To Autumn"

Love the trees until their leaves fall off, then encourage them to try again next year. ~Chad Sugg

Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first of September was crisp and golden as an apple... ~J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Lady Autumn, Queen of the Harvest,
I have seen You in the setting Sun
with Your long auburn tresses...
You sit upon Your throne and watch
the dying fires of the setting Sun
shine forth its final colors in the sky...
Lady Autumn, You are here at last...
~Deirdre Akins

Leaves, questioned by winter, fall. ~Terri Guillemets

It was one of those perfect New York October afternoons, when the explosion of oranges and yellows against the bright blue sky makes you feel like your life is passing through your fingers, that you've felt this autumn-feeling before and you'll probably get to feel it again, but one day you won't anymore, because you'll be dead. ~Sarah Dunn, Secrets to Happiness, 2009

Autumn is the perfect time to take account of what we've done, what we didn't do, and what we'd like to do next year. ~Author Unknown

[O]n hill and valley and stream, is lain the spell of silence; and the deep stillness of the air is unbroken... ~Elizabeth J. Eames, "An Autumn Reverie," October 1840

Winter dies into the spring, to be born again in the autumn. ~Terri Guillemets

Fall, not spring, is the time in this region to clear away dead leaves and branches, to renovate the borders, to start new gardens.... And even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn. ~Elizabeth Lawrence, A Southern Garden

Fall, temperatures, fall, fall! Let the weather mellow and the year drift into peacefulness. ~Terri Guillemets

Spring blossoms are fairy tales, autumn leaves are tragic dramas. ~Mehmet Murat ildan

If spring betrays the summer, would autumn never arrive? ~Terri Guillemets

A tangerine and russet cascade of kaleidoscopic leaves, creates a tapestry of autumn magic upon the emerald carpet of fading summer. ~Judith A. Lindberg

In the desert, the slow quiet entrance of autumn is like breathing a sigh of relief — exhaling all the hot, stifling air built up over summer. ~Terri Guillemets

Opal-tinted, and golden, and brown,
Summer's dead treasures came sailing down;
Rolling masses of clouds overhead
Passed to the rim of the evening red...
~J.J. Britton (1832–1913), "Love for All Time"

[F]all: bright flame before winter's deadness; harvest; orange, gold, amber; cool nights and the smell of fire. Our tree-lined streets are set ablaze, our kitchens filled with the smells of nostalgia: apples bubbling into sauce, roasting squash, cinnamon, nutmeg, cider, warmth itself. The leaves as they spark into wild color just before they die are the world's oldest performance art, and everything we see is celebrating one last violently hued hurrah before the black and white and silence of winter. Fall is begging for us to dance and sing and write with just the same drama and blaze. ~Shauna Niequist, Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way

Light understands the colors of Autumn, and she loves him for it. ~Terri Guillemets, "The falling is mutual," 2016

Find more quotes about the seasons at The Spirit of Gardening!

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Original post date 1998 March 18th
Last modified 2019 Aug 26 Mon 21:55 PDT

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