It’s the first day of autumn (2023) here in the southern hemisphere (good riddance to Cyclone Gabrielle, which caused devastation in other parts of the North Island), so here’s a track from Poems & Lyrics (in the English Dialect) (1856):

AGAIN old Autumn murmurs from the hill , His annual toils already are begun ; His angry blast howls down the fertile vale , Gust after gust with melancholy moan .

Ah , what a change ! no flowers bedeck the grove , Nor fill the air with odoriferous sweets ; No warbler pours his melting lay of love , No honey – laden bee the traveller meets . No sporting lambs skip down the mountain’s side , Where heather bells in clusters lately waved ; Nor where the sun , when in his summer pride , When o’er the lake he floods of silver laved . The spreading oak , by smiling summer dress’t In waving garments of a glossy green , Is ‘ reft of all by Autumn’s ruthless blast , Which rides triumphant o’er the arid plain . The naked willow by the silent lake Sighs to the gale , dejected and forlorn ; As when the mother to her griefs awake , When from her breast her early hopes are torn : All seems to tell in language strong That nought is stable on this earthly sphere ; The grave , the gay , the aged , and the young , Stand on a ladder weak and insecure . I’ve seen at evening with intense delight A lovely flower that scarce its form had shown , And ere the morning både farewell to night , Its looks were faded and its beauties flown : Thus flowers must fade , and man , too , must decline , As snows dissolve and swallowed are by earth , And death’s proud fetters will his frame entwine , Nor count his lineage nor his honoured birth . The Spring again will lightly trip the plain , And leave her mantle on the hawthorn boughs ; Her gentle voice will wake the woodland’s train , Her beamy smiles again recall the rose But when will Spring bring gladness to the tomb ? Where lord and beggar on a level lie ; That dreary house of solitude and gloom , Where Discord , Envy , and Ambition die .

by John Collie (1834-1893)

Other tracks with an autumnal theme include this one, from South Island Sessions:

and especially the Loose Autumn Moans album, now 20-years-old!


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