Henry David Thoreau

(12 July 1817 – 6 May 1862 / Concord, Massachusetts)

I am the Autumnal Sun


Sometimes a mortal feels in himself Nature
-- not his Father but his Mother stirs
within him, and he becomes immortal with her
immortality. From time to time she claims
kindredship with us, and some globule
from her veins steals up into our own.

I am the autumnal sun,
With autumn gales my race is run;
When will the hazel put forth its flowers,
Or the grape ripen under my bowers?
When will the harvest or the hunter's moon
Turn my midnight into mid-noon?
I am all sere and yellow,
And to my core mellow.
The mast is dropping within my woods,
The winter is lurking within my moods,
And the rustling of the withered leaf
Is the constant music of my grief...

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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  • Daphne Grant (3/12/2007 12:24:00 PM)

    Following his usual line of natural events, the poet here is thinking of himself as getting older. The seasons are his seasons. The mast is dropping in the woods, He sees himself in that, falling prey to old age and falling. Old men become grumpy, represented by by ' The winter is lurking within my moods, and the rustling of the withered leaf' is a constant reminder of the passing of time, of age, and the passing of winter. And the passing of...... (Report) Reply

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