Autumnal Scent part 2

Never had the glorious landscape and the park at the Aigues been more luxuriantly beautiful than in those September days. In the earliest autumn weather, when earth is weary of bringing forth her fruits, and fills the air in the empty fields and orchards with the delicious scent of leaves, the forests are the most wonderful sight of all, for then they begin to take bronze-green hues and warm ochre tints, to blend in the fair tapestry beneath which they hide, as if to defy the coming cold of winter.
Earth in the spring looks gay and joyous, a dark-haired maid who hopes and looks forward; Earth in the autumn, grown melancholy and mild, is a fair-haired woman who remembers. The grass grows golden, the heads of the autumn flowers are crowned with pale petals, the white daisies look up seldom now from the lawn, and you see the purplish-green calices instead. There is yellow color everywhere. The trees cast thinner and darker shadows; the sun, slanting lower already, steals under them to leave faint gleams of orange color, and long luminous shafts, which vanish swiftly over the ground like the trailing robes of women departing. 
The works of Honoré de Balzac
 By Honoré de Balzac

DESERT SAGE
My FEET are treading the city streets,
But my heart is far astray, Over the distant desert hills
Where the sage grows cool and grey. 
Where the scent of the sage is keen and sweet
That flies on the wind away.
I hear the noise of the busy town
And the crowds that pass me by;
But my thoughts are away to the distant hills
As wild birds homeward fly.
I am one with the hills and the fragrant sage,
The wind, and the autumn sky.
And ever the western winds do blow,
From the Land of Yesterday,
Where the silvery plumes of desert sage
Fragrantly bend and sway;
(Oh, my feet are treading the city streets—
But my heart is far away!)
Edith Osborne


A beautiful October morning it was; one of those in which Dame Nature, healthily tired with the revelry of summer, is composing herself, with a quiet, satisfied smile, for her winter's sleep. Sheets of dappled cloud were sliding slowly from the west; long bars of hazy blue hung over the southern chalk downs, which gleamed pearly gray beneath the low south-eastern sun. In the vale below, soft white flakes of mist still hung over the water-meadows, and barred the dark trunks of the huge elms and poplars, whose fast-yellowing leaves came showering down at every rustle of the western breeze, spotting the grass below. The river swilled along, glassy no more, but dingy gray with autumn rains and rotting leaves. All beyond the garden told of autumn; bright and peaceful, even in decay; but up the sunny slope of the garden itself, and to the very windowsill, summer still lingered. The beds of red verbena and geranium were still brilliant, though choked with fallen leaves of acacia and plane; the canary plant, still untouched by frost, twined its delicate green leaves, and more delicate yellow blossoms, through the crimson lacework of the Virginia creeper; and the great yellow noisette swung its long canes across the window, filling all the air with fruity fragrance.
Charles Kingsley's Works, Volume 6
 By Charles Kingsley
TOP OF THE HILL by Sarah Orne Jewett

GREEN slope of autumn fields,
And soft November sun,
And golden leaves—they linger yet,
While tasselled pines new fragrance get,
Though summer-time is done.

The hedge-rows wear a veil
Of glistening spider threads, 
And in the trees along the brook 
The clematis, like whiffs of smoke, 
Its faded garland spreads.

See, here upon my hand,
This gauzy-winged wild bee!
Now that the winds are laid,
He suns him unafraid
Of winter-time or me.

I love the steepled town,
The river winding down, 
The slow salt tide that creeps 
Beside a shore that sleeps,
Dark with its pine woods' crown.

Here, high above them all
Upon my broad-backed hill,
Far from shrill voices I,
And near the sun and sky,
Can look and take my fill.

I breathe the sweet air in,
While lower drops the sun,
And brighter all too soon
Grows the pale hunter's moon,
The whole year's fairest one.

Oh, lovely light that fades
Too soon from sky and field,
Oh, days that are too few,
How can I gather you,
Or treasure what you yield!


Oh, sunshine, warm me through,
And, soft wind, blow away
My foolishness, my fears,
And let some golden years
Grow from this golden day! 

The salt-hay making was over at last. The marshes were dotted as far as eye could see by the round haystacks with their deftly pointed tops. These gave a great brilliance of color to the landscape, being unfaded yet by the rain and snow that would dull their yellow tints later in the year. September weather came early, even before its appointed season, and there was a constant suggestion of autumn before the summer was fairly spent. The delicate fragrance of the everlasting-flowers was plainly noticeable in the dry days that followed each other steadily. The summer was ripe early this year, and the fruits reddened, and the flowers all went to seed, and the days grew shorter in kindly fashion, being so pleasant that one could not resent the hurrying twilight, or now and then the acknowledged loss of a few minutes of daylight. From the top of the island hill a great fading countryside spread itself wide and fair, and seaward the sails looked strangely white against the deepened blue of the ocean. There were more coasting-vessels than could usually be seen, even in midsummer, as if great flocks of them had grown that year, like the birds.
A Marsh Island, Volume 4
 By Sarah Orne Jewett

As Ichabod jogged slowly on his way, his eye, ever open to every symptom of culinary abundance, ranged with delight over the treasures of jolly autumn. On all sides he beheld vast store of apples: some hanging in oppressive opulence on the trees; some gathered into baskets and barrels for the market; others heaped up in rich piles for the cider-press. Farther on he beheld great fields of Indian corn, with its golden ears peeping from their leafy coverts, and holding out the promise of cakes and hasty-pudding; and the yellow pumpkins lying beneath them, turning up their fair round bellies to the sun, and giving ample prospects of the most luxurious of pies; and anon he passed the fragrant buckwheat fields breathing the odor of the beehive, and as he beheld them, soft anticipations stole over his mind of dainty slap-jacks, well buttered, and garnished with honey or treacle, by the delicate little dimpled hand of Katrina Van Tassel.
Selected Essays from The Sketch Book by Washington Irving ..., Issue 148

 
On the second morning after Old Lady Lloyd's journey to town Sylvia Gray was walking blithely down the wood lane. It was a beautiful autumn morning, clear and crisp and sunny; the frosted ferns, drenched and battered with the rain of yesterday, gave out a delicious fragrance; here and there in the woods a maple waved a gay crimson banner, or a branch of birch showed pale golden against the dark, unchanging spruces. The air was very pure and exhilarating. Sylvia walked with a joyous lightness of step and uplift of brow.
Chronicles of Avonlea: By L. M. Montgomery
 By Lucy Maud Montgomery

An Autumn Camp by William Alfred Qualyle
UPON a windy autumn hill
I camp among the blowing leaves,
That whirl and fall and sadly fill
The hollows and the empty nests.
All day winds whimper through the trees
With plaintive lonesomeness of tune;
All day the wistful sunlight flees
As from a huntsman on its track.
The hill is crowned with solemn woods,
Some naked as a sheathless sword,
Some glorious as with fiery hoods
That holy, ancient martyrs wore.
Some, piebald greens and golds and reds,
A chequer work of radiant dyes
Like tapestries of gorgeous shreds
And meant to pave the autumn floors.
The clouds are like a flock of swans
That slowly wheel to voyage south,
And ere another morning dawns
Will vanish, to appear no more.
My fire is built with branch and leaves
The winds have hacked from burly trunks;
And while the wind, unceasing, grieves,
The fire emits its fragrant smoke
Which whirls, in eddies slow and blue,
Uneager to escape the place,
And sails my little coppice through
Like some dim sky that slants and falls.

And in the night the moon is bright
And slowly smiles from sky to sky;
And all the middle night has light
That streams through slumbers dreamily.

And all the night the wild winds walk
Across the tree-tops like the waves,
And interchange melodious talk
Like dialogues of Plato's days.

The habitable world is lost
Upon this lonesome autumn hill,
And care-full cares are plucked and tost
Like leaves upon a hurrying stream.
And the delicious fragrance of the fall now fills the air and thrills the very core of the sensitive heart. This fragrance is the incense of Nature, offered on God's altar in grateful love. How was it that Thekla, Wallenstein's daughter—the wild rose amid a wicked long war—summed her life? "I have lived and loved." Such is the voice of the forest depths and the open fields alike. They, the things of Nature, do not forget their devotions. They have lived; they have loved; they have fulfilled. This fragrance of the woods is due to many constituent graces. All the ferns contribute a fine aroma; they are among the subtle elegances, like the witch hazel, which do not insist on recognition, but mystically insinuate their infinitely delicate essence amid the stronger odors of the fall. Most potent of all the woodland fragrances is that of the sugar-maple, whose leaves in their departure bestow upon our senses the wild sweetness of the trees' happy juices of April. But after all this has been said, nothing is really said of the magic of the autumn olfactory charm. That charm is in truth a spiritual charm. It partakes of the goodness of God, which fills and exalts and extends to infinite life, rebuking our halting and half-hearted faith with its exhaustless beneficence. "If God so clothe the grass of the field, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?"
Friends' Intelligencer, Volume 72

Another charm of Autumn is its marvellous variety, its delicate detail, its painted shadows and plashing lights, coming and going amid the myriad leaves, red and gold and gray and black, the infinite care of the great Ar— tist spread over an infinite field. Who would not wake early in the morning for the pleasure of watching the bridal veils of spider web covering the hedgerows and glistening with dewy diamonds that catch and give again shafts of delicate light? The dewberry with its bloom, the honeysuckle, fragrant and delicate beyond the use of English flowers, the lush grass silvered with wet, the myriad creatures seeking their morning meat from God, the call from the hill as the stately cattle wend away to pasture, the sudden burst of the sun from above a bosky wood and its embosomed meadows. the matronal glory of the awakened world. 
The Living Age ..., Volume 259

Oliver Wendell Holmes in "Autocrat of the Breakfast Table," writes of the plant:
"Perhaps the herb Everlasting, the fragrant immortelle of our autumn fields has the most suggestive odor to me of all those that set me dreaming. I can hardly describe the strange thoughts and emotions that come to me as I inhale the aroma of its pale, dry, rustling flowers. A something it has of sepulchral spicery, as if it had been brought from the core of some great pyramid, where it had lain on the breast of a mummied Pharaoh. Something, too, of immortality in the sad, faint sweetness .
lingering so long m its lifeless petals. 
Yet this does not tell me why it fills my eyes with tears and carries me in blissful thought to the banks of Asphodel that border the River of Life."
The Wayside Flowers of Summer: A Study of the Conspicuous Herbaceous Plants ...
 By Harriet Louise Keeler

Leaves! Leaves! There are some who love the smell of incense wafted down dim cathedral isles. But far more grateful to me is the fragrance that fills one's nostrils where they burn dead heaps of leaves in that great fane of which the ceiling is the sky. One gets a breath of it now and again when one sits by a wood fire, and I can lie back in my chair and see the blue smoke wreathing skyward as the old gardener piles on yet another barrowload.
Gilbert Owen. 

The fallen leaves, with which the ground was strewn, gave forth a pleasant fragrance, and subduing all harsh sounds of distant feet and wheels, created a repose in gentle unison with the light scattering of seed hither and thither by the distant husbandman, and with the noiseless passage of the plough as it turned up the rich brown earth, and wrought a graceful pattern in the stubbled fields. On the motionless branches of some trees, autumn berries hung like clusters of coral beads, as in those fabled orchards where the fruits were jewels ; others, stripped of all their garniture, stood, each the centre of its little heap of bright red leaves, watching their slow decay ; others again, still wearing theirs, had them all crunched and crackled up, as though they had been burnt ; about the stems of some were piled, in ruddy mounds, the apples they had borne that year ,- while others (hardy evergreens this class) showed somewhat stern and gloomy in their vigour, as charged by nature with the admonition that it is not to her more sensitive and joyous favorites, she grants the longest term of life. Still athwart their darker boughs, the sun-beams struck out paths of deeper gold ; and the red light, mantling in among their swarthy branches, used them as foils to set its brightness off, and aid the lustre of the dying day
The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit
 By Charles Dickens
DOWN TO SLEEP."
н. н.
November woods are bare and still,
November days are clear and bright;
Each noon burns up the morning's chill;
The morning's snow is gone by night;
Each day my steps grow slow, grow light,
As through the woods I reverent creep,
Watching all things lie "down to sleep."
I never knew before what beds,
Fragrant to smell, and soft to touch,
The forest sifts and shapes and spreads;
I never knew before how much
Of human sound there is in such
Low tones as through the forest sweep
When all wild things lie " down to sleep."
Each day I find new coverlids
Tucked in, and more sweet eyes shut tight;
Sometimes the viewless mother bids
Her ferns kneel down, full in my sight;
I hear their chorus of ;'good night."
And half I smile, and half I weep,
Listening while they lie " down to sleep."
November woods are bare and still;
November days are bright and good;
Life's noon burns up life's morning chill;
Life's night rests feet which long have stood;
Some warm, soft bed, in field or wood,
The mother will not fail to keep,
Where we can "lay us down to sleep."  
Indian Summer: Autumn Poems and Sketches
AUTUMN GLEE.
'T1s all a myth that Autumn grieves,
For, watch the rain amid the leaves;
With silver fingers dimly seen
It makes each leaf a tambourine,
And swings and leaps with elfin mirth
To kiss the brow of mother earth,
Or, laughing 'mid the trembling grass,
It nods a greeting as you pass.
Oh! hear the rain amid the leaves—
'Tis all a myth that Autumn grieves!
'Tis all a myth that Autumn grieves,
For, list the wind among the sheaves;
Far sweeter than the breath of May
Or storied scents of old Cathay,
It blends the perfumes rare and good
Of spicy pine and hickory wood,
And with a voice as gay as rhyme
It prates of rifled mint and thyme.
Oh! scent the wind among the sheaves—
'Tis all a myth that Autumn grieves!
'Tis all a myth that Autumn grieves,
Behold the wondrous web she weaves!
By viewless hands her thread is spun
Of evening vapors shyly won.
Across the grass from side to side
A myriad unseen shuttles glide
Throughout the night, till on the height
Aurora leads the laggard light.
Behold the wondrous web she weaves—
'Tis all a myth that Autumn grieves! 

The Magazine of poetry and literary review

AN AUTUMN DAY.
BY KARGAEBT B. SANGSTER.
Like a jewel golden-rimmed;
Like a chalice nectar-brimmed;
Like a strain of music low
Lost in some sweet long-ago;
Like a fairy story old
By the lips of children told;
Like a rune of ancient bard;
Like a missal glory-starred —
Comes upon her winsome way
This enchanting autumn day.

O'er the hills the sunlight sleeps;
Through the vales the shadow creeps;
On the river's stately tides
Rich the silent splendor glides;
Where the bower? orchards be
Perfumed breezes wander free;
Where the purple clusters shine
Through the net-work of the vine,
Fragrant od-irs fill the air;
Beauty shtntth everywhere,
While upon her jovous way
Comes the lovely autumn day.

By the road's neglected banks
Rise the Sumac's serned ranks;
Ragged hedge of thorn and brier
Sudden flames with living fire;
From the hard unlovely sod
Springs the glancin golden-rod;
Light the level sunbeams sift
Through the violet aster-drift;
All her spears in proud array.
Comes the bannered autumn day.

Lifts the forest's lofty line,
Sceptered oak and solemn pine;
Shifting rainbow tints illume
All the depths of fronded gloom;
Through the vista'd aisles unroll
Sweeping robe and trailing stole —
Where superbly on her way
Cones the royal autumn day.
 
Heart of mine, be glad and gay;
Wear thy festival array;
Sing thy song for gathered fruit;
Why shouldst thou alone be mute,
When the winds from sea to sea
Ring in chords of jubilee?
After waiting, after prayer,
After pain and toil and care,
After expectation long —
Lo! the bright fulfillments throng;
Gleam the apples through the leaves;
Thickly stand the golden sheaves;
Earth is all in splendor drest;
Queenly fair, she sits at rest. 
While the deep delicious day
Dreams its happy life away. 
 
INCENSE.
In the sweet woodland ways, and by
The brook that mirrors clear the sky,
I find the last dear flowers growing,
The last blue asters bravely blowing;
And, floating in a silver mist
In opal, rose, and amethyst,
A golden cloud of incense drifts,
And in the soft air wafts and lifts.
Balsamic scent of pine and fir
Salutes the fbrtst breeze, astir
With birds w hich leave the empty nest,
And sail away in eager quest
Of summer in some land afar
Where yet the glowing roses are.
Through branches dropping amber leaves,
Past fields and meadows shorn of sheaves,
O'er uplands fair, in valleys deep,
The spicy breaths of autumn creep.
The vines are bent with purple bloom
Of clusters dusky in the gloom,
And giving back the noontide's sheen
In fiery lustre through the green
And tangled foliage of the grape.
0 perfume rare, and perfect shape,
Swing wide and free, ye censers fair.
The year's best wealth is garnered there.
Ere long the blue-fringed gentian's flower
Will light for us a waning hour;
The pink marsh-mallow's torch will shine
Upon the swamp-land's glimmering line;
1 he common path will wave with gold,
Superb and lavish, bright and bold,
And wayside hard and fading sod-
Laugh out ere pales the golden rod.
From spring to autumn every mile
Hath known the bliss of Nature's smile;
From spring to autumn, day by day,
Who would, 'neath Nature's roof might pray.
The earth is but a splendid shrine
For worship of the One Divine,
And every plant its censer lifts,
And every tree its incense drifts,
Where stream and wood and hill and road
Thrill to one chord, the praise of God.
Margaret E. Songster, in Harper's Bazar. 

ONE MORNING RIDE
’Twas Sunday morn, with true love by my side,
We strolled'aiong by many winding roads,
That led o‘er hills, through dales and valleys green,
Where toilers traveled with their precious loads.
The morning sun was veiled in fieecy clouds,
That held in check the fierce September glare;
The gentle breath of autumn’s hazy morn
Poured forth its gems on Nature’s purest air.
The bluejay's calls resounded through the glen,
Their echoes melting in the far-away;
The crickets sang in yonder marshy mead,
And meadow larks poured forth their cheerful lay
The cows were feeding in the pasture green,
Unconscious of our early morning call;
The herd boy napped, 10, many weary hours,
And dreamed, and dreamed, this dreamy day in fall.
The goldenrod was gleaming everywhere,
And nodding ofi its pearly gems of dew,
That formed in clusters in the stilly night,
So soon to flit away in ether blue.
The crystal lake we saw through leafy trees ;
The murmuring brook we heard beyond the hill;
On many a farm were stacks of golden grain,
“A horn of plenty,” ready for the mill.
The fragrance wafted from the new mown hay,
Now filled our souls with raptures of delight!
We drank our fill of beauties of the morn,
That freely flowed from fountains of the night.
Oh, glorious morn! Resplendent autumn day!
That came to bless and give us hope and cheer,
Our thanks we offer in our songs of praise,
For this and other blessings of the year. 
Chimes of Cheer
 By Frank George O'Brien