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Short poem

Helen Hunt Jackson (1830-1885)


              1The golden-rod is yellow;
              2  The corn is turning brown;
              3The trees in apple orchards
              4  With fruit are bending down.

              5The gentian's bluest fringes
              6  Are curling in the sun;
              7In dusty pods the milkweed
              8  Its hidden silk has spun.

              9The sedges flaunt their harvest,
            10  In every meadow nook;
            11And asters by the brook-side
            12  Make asters in the brook,

            13From dewy lanes at morning
            14  The grapes' sweet odors rise;
            15At noon the roads all flutter
            16  With yellow butterflies.

            17By all these lovely tokens
            18  September days are here,
            19With summer's best of weather,
            20  And autumn's best of cheer.

            21But none of all this beauty
            22  Which floods the earth and air
            23Is unto me the secret
            24  Which makes September fair.

            25'T is a thing which I remember;
            26  To name it thrills me yet:
            27One day of one September
            28  I never can forget.


1] golden-rod: North American flower, having pyramidal branched yellow or white blossom-clusters on wand-like stems.

5] gentian: blue-flowered herb.

7] milkweed: tall perennial herb with milky juice.

9] sedges: perennial marsh plants with solid stem and a flowercluster at its top.

11] asters: fall-blooming herb with tubular or star-like flowers.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Helen Jackson, Poems (Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1892), pp. 206-07. PS 2107 P6 1892 Robarts Library.
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1998.
Recent editing: 2:2002/3/8

Rhyme: abcb (last stanza: abab)

Other poems by Helen Hunt Jackson