Elizabeth Melton Parsons



Autumn Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Autumn at Patoka Lake


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow – 1807-1882

With what a glory comes and goes the year!
The buds of spring, those beautiful harbingers
Of sunny skies and cloudless times, enjoy
Life’s newness, and earth’s garniture spread out;
And when the silver habit of the clouds
Comes down upon the autumn sun, and with
A sober gladness the old year takes up
His bright inheritance of golden fruits,
A pomp and pageant fill the splendid scene.

There is a beautiful spirit breathing now
Its mellow richness on the clustered trees,
And, from a beaker full of richest dyes,
Pouring new glory on the autumn woods,
And dipping in warm light the pillared clouds.
Morn on the mountain, like a summer bird,
Lifts up her purple wing, and in the vales
The gentle wind, a sweet and passionate wooer,
Kisses the blushing leaf, and stirs up life
Within the solemn woods of ash deep-crimsoned,
And silver beech, and maple yellow-leaved,
Where Autumn, like a faint old man, sits down
By the wayside a-weary. Through the trees
The golden robin moves; the purple finch,
That on wild cherry and red cedar feeds,
A winter bird, comes with its plaintive whistle,
And pecks by the witch-hazel, whilst aloud
From cottage roofs the warbling blue-bird sings;
And merrily, with oft-repeated stroke,
Sounds from the threshing-floor the busy flail.

O what a glory doth this world put on
For him who, with a fervent heart, goes forth
Under the bright and glorious sky, and looks
On duties well performed, and days well spent!
For him the wind, ay, and the yellow leaves
Shall have a voice, and give him eloquent teachings.
He shall so hear the solemn hymn, that Death
Has lifted up for all, that he shall go
To his long resting-place without a tear.

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Robins in the Snow

Every morning, as I sit here checking e-mails, I watch out the window for the first sign of spring–Robins. When those little guys appear, I know spring is close behind. So imagine my delight when I looked out a couple of days ago and there they were. They were hopping all over the yard with their lovely rust colored breasts puffed out proudly. It was a balmy 70 degrees. Spring had arrived for sure. Now I sit here watching the snow beginning to fall–a huge winter storm moving in, closing schools and making travel extremely hazardous. It reminded me of a post I put on my other blog a long time ago. Weather patterns in Southern Indiana are erratic, but this winter/spring scenario does often repeat itself. Since my older post is so appropriate to what is happening now, I’m putting it here:

My Mom always watched for Robins to come home after the harsh realities of winter had began to fade. She said Robins were the first sign that spring was surely on it’s way. While having my coffee the other morning, I sat looking out the large windows in my dining room and the yard was full of Robins. It was about 20 degrees and snowing a little. But those little birds, so busy pecking at the ground with their lovely red breasts, warmed my heart and gave me hope that yes indeed, spring was coming.

A few days later the sun was shining and the air had warmed. I saw Blue birds…not Blue Jays. Those beautiful little birds with their bright blue feathers and rusty red breasts. They were flitting here and there around the yard. The males were scuffing with each other over the attentions of one lovely little female who sat and watched…totally unconcerned. For she knew the best would win.

I noticed flowers were beginning to pop their noses out of the still half frozen earth and squirrels were bouncing from tree to tree. Spring! A time of warmth and renewal. The awakening of nature from its long winter’s nap. ‘Hope springs eternal’ and how could hope not spring forth from within us when such sights present themselves at winter’s end and spring’s arrival?

Of course today it is back to cold with a few lingering snow flurries, but I’m not worried. I know it is only winter’s last hurrah. The birds have told me so and they are never wrong.

Elizabeth http://elizabethmeltonparsons.com