Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)


Charles Sangster 1822 (Kingston) – 1893

If seasons, like the human race, had souls,
Then two artistic spirits live within
The Chameleon mind of Autumn - these,
The Poet's mentor and the Painter's guide.
The myriad-thoughted phases of the mind
Are truly represented by the hues
That thrill the forests with prophetic fire.
And what could painter's skill compared to these?
What palette ever held the flaming tints
That on these leafy hieroglyphs foretell
How set the ebbing currents of the year?
What poet's page was ever like to this,
Or told the lesson of life's waning days
More forcibly, with more of natural truth,
Than yon red maples, or these poplars, white
As the pale shroud that wraps some human corse?
And then, again, the spirit of a King,
Clothed with that majesty most monarchs lack,
Might fit old Autumn for his royal rule:
For here is kingly ermine, cloth of gold,
And purple robes well worthy to be worn
By the best monarch that e'er donned a crown.
Proclaim him Royal Autumn! Poet King!
The Laureate of the Seasons, whose rare songs
Are such as lyrist never hoped to fling
On the fine ear of an admiring world.
Autumn, the Poet, Painter, and true King!
His gorgeous Ideality speaks forth
From the rare colors of the changing leaves;
And the ripe blood that swells his purple veins
Is as the glowing of a sacred fire.
He walks with Shelley's spirit on the cliffs
Of the Ethereal Caucasus, and o'er
The summits of the Euganean hills;
And meets the soul of Wordsworth, in profound
And philosophic meditation, rapt
In some great dream of love towards
The human race. The cheery Spring may come,
And touch the dreaming flowers into life,
Summer expand her leafy sea of green,
And wake the joyful wilderness to song,
As a fair hand strikes music from a lyre:
But Autumn, from its daybreak to its close,
Setting in florid beauty, like the sun,
Robed with rare brightness and ethereal flame,
Holds all the year's ripe fruitage in its hands,
And dies with songs of praise upon its lips.
And then, the Indian Summer, bland as June:
Some Tuscarora King, Algonquin Seer,
Or Huron Chief, returned to smoke the Pipe
Of Peace upon the ancient hunting grounds;
The mighty shade in spirit walking forth
To feel the beauty of his native woods,
Flashing in Autumn vestures, or to mark
The scanty remnants of the scattered tribes
Wending towards their graves. Few Braves are left;
Few mighty Hunters; fewer stately Chiefs,
Like great Tecumseth fit to take the field,
And lead the tribes to certain victory,
Choosing annihilation to defeat:
But having run thy gauntlet of their days,
This Autumn remnant of some unknown race,
Nearing the Winter of their sad decay,
Fall like dry leaves into the lap of Time;
Their old trunks sapless, their tough branches bare,
And Fate's shrill war-whoop thund'ring at their heels.
Font size:

Submitted on August 03, 2020

2:30 min read

Charles Sangster

Charles Sangster was a Canadian poet who is considered one of the best of the pre-confederation poets more…

All Charles Sangster poems | Charles Sangster Books

FAVORITE (0 fans)

Discuss this Charles Sangster poem with the community:



    Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:


    "Autumn." Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 22 Oct. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/54899/autumn.>.

    Become a member!

    Join our community of poets and poetry lovers to share your work and offer feedback and encouragement to writers all over the world!

    Browse Poetry.com


    Are you a poetry master?

    Which female American poet, who was little-known during her lifetime, but had nearly 1800 of her poems published posthumously, rarely titled her poems?
    • A. Emily Dickinson
    • B. Sara Teasdale
    • C. Sylvia Plath
    • D. Amy Lowell

    Our favorite collection of

    Famous Poets