The Last of Summer

A beauty on the scene attends
Ere autumn comes & summer ends
When summers glory first we see
As staind with its mortality
A tree turnd yellow ere & there
& some already nearly bare
Who in the sun fade sick & fall
& leave a lesson with us all
& clouded skyes that hourly wain
& brighten into smiles again
Oer clearing fields & parched bowers
& witherd tufts that once was flowers
Nor can I wish those scenes away
So beautiful in their decay
For summers smiles to yearly be
Or give springs hopes eternity
Around me wood & valley seems
Fading in visionary dreams
A fairey scene that once begun
To fade & sicken in the sun
Decks in new beautys wood & hill
& like enchantment varies still
A rainbow glory nature weaves
Around her dwelling ere she leaves
Her autumns sickning toils to keep
Her sabbath rest of winter sleep
Oft in my earlier days of leisure
I felt a mellancholy pleasure
To track the sun burnt heaths & plains
When summers dazzling glory wains
When flowers had left the open walks
& nought appeard but rustling stalks
& those still lingering loath to fade
Were daily sickening in the shade
When orchard apple reddening mellow
& woodland branches sickening yellow
Proclaim the summers first decay
& autumn hastning on his way
& I do love this season still
To ramble round the scenes at will
To rove the smoothly shaven meadow
Were fading summer like a widow
Bewails in silence heavy hearted
The pleasant din of days departed
When sweeping mowers late & soon
From sunrise to eves dewy moon
Toild cheerful oer its level ground
& whetting sythes kept tinkling round
When swain & maid in artless glee
Sing round the haycock merrily
Mixing with grass[h]opper & bee
The summers soul of mellody
So sweet that ecchos extasys
Murmurd their mirth in mild replys
Tho these are gone & in their stead
A silent scene around is spread
A russet level bleak & bare
With yellow blossom here & there
Sickly smiling on the sun
As tho they wishd their end to shun
Till noon tide bids their hopes be oer
& evens dews can heal no more
Then dropping in their grave the grass
They claim our pity as we pass
Tho no fond bee with cheering hum
To their lorn bosoms cares to come
Tho fled the din of sythe & men
& but an odd lark now & then
Starts from its lonley naked way
To hope & sing for summers stay
Yet wandering in these fields at will
I feel a saddend pleasure still
Each morn wakes wan its sunlight wains
On yellowing leaves & fading plains
Green fields no more the summer views
All sicknd into ripend hues
Of brown & grey & darksome glooms
That mark the path were autum comes
& in each woodlands buried way
The dew drop lives for half the day
Dank mists oft creep 'tween earth & skye
& dreaming dim the mornings eye
& dullness wears along the while
As if the sun was loath to smile
Yet at mid day his feebld powers
Will brighten up in sultry hours
& sweating toil that often stops
To wipe aside the falling drops
Piercd with his downward daily ray
Wishes the lagging hours away
By swallows we may plain percieve
When summers on the point to leave
Who shun the pond & rippeling spring
Were oft they dipt their sutty wing
& green lanes were from morn till night
They joyd to weel their circling flight
Now perchd on cottage tops to rest
They twit & prune each dingy breast
Or flock together in the skye
As if to learn their young to flye
Preparing each unpractisd wing
For flight to seek another spring
Each orchard now is smiling gay
Glittering in the morning ray
Rich clustering plums of varied hue
Of freckld red & misty blue
& suntand pears with ruddy streak
Brown as was summers lusty cheek
& blushing apples round & red
Whose loaded branches pat the head
Of longing maid who hither goes
To hang on lines the bleaching cloaths
She views the fruit with tempting eye
& steals one as she saunters bye
& boys will often slive from play
& in the orchard find a way
Hurling up stones with jerking spring
Or sti[c]ks with many a sturdy swing
Till on the foot markd batterd ground
The pears & apples patter round
& truant school boys stealing play
Oft sneaks along some secret way
Tho neer a nest his eye percieves
Tho pootys hide in falling leaves
Yet are there hips & haws to seek
& suntand crabs with ruddy cheek
& with harsh grin & w[r]inkld frown
He chews the unpleasant prizes down
& arching oer the woodland way
Blackberrys tempt his thoughts astray
Sloes powderd oer with misty down
From hedges too he scrambles down
By shepherds deemd a pleasant treat
Tho not till winter makes them sweet
When frost nipt they awake desire
& anxious to his cottage fire
On the clear blaze each branch he th[r]ows
& roasts the hissing sputtering sloes
Now mushrooms with the morning light
Above the whet grass glisten white
Whose shade perhaps in nights wet hours
May serve the faireys sports for bowers
& often in the morning hours
That cheer awhile half witherd flowers
Ive markd suprisd as passing bye
Unseen save by each curious eye
From bent to bent oer closes spread
The slender cobwebs silken thread
By unseen insects finely spun
Glittering in the gleaming sun
Nor is the summers farewell hours
Always left without their flowers
The majoram oft in shady lane
Nights plentious dews revive again
Long scorchd in summers earlier hours
It now will freshen into flowers
On hills & roads & every where
The ragwort blossoms half the year
& thistles on each rushy baulk
Are constant blushing in our walk
That towers in scornful majesty
Oer oddling daiseys peeping nigh
Untouchd by sheep that hither stray
Who from its pr[i]ckles sneak away
& endive flowering closly bye
That steals its colors from the sky
The old-mans-beard too in its prime
Covers the hedges like a rime
With downy flowers that thickly twind
Oft shields the swain from rain & wind
These live till summers last decay
& lingering oft in fond delay
With autumn if she enters mild
Are sought & found by many a child
Who sort their blooms in poseys fair
& garlands glad her yellow hair
O Autumn now thy reign is nigh
I feign woud hail thy majesty
But hollow winds & tumbling floods
& singing showers & yellow woods
These are thy mighty minstrelsy
Who maddening into life with thee
Woud make amid their strains divine
Unheard the song so tame as mine.
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