Long Island in Late October

October's flaming banners, of purple and of gold,
O'er all the bowery woodland, are flauntingly unroll'd;
From his o'er-brimming urn red Autumn pours his dyes
O'er all thy realm, Long Island, from clouds that sail the skies.
They woods of elm and chestnut, so emerald-green ere-while,
Now glow with brightest blushes, suffus'd with Autumn's smile.
The maples of the uplands are flush'd with royal red,
And robes and garlands golden o'er the pasture-oaks are spread;
The sumacs by the roadside now wear a scarlet crown,
The bayberry bushes by the beach are clad in russet brown;
The apple orchards, late despoil'd of all their ruddy globes,
Tinet with the frost are all array'd in varicolor'd robes;
And low in swamps and thickets of cedar and of pine
The woodbines redden, and the lithe, high-clambering grape-vine.
And there the village children come, the purpling grapes to glean,
Whose clusters load the alders that o'er the streamlets lean.

The grass of summer uplands, where far the sheep-flock strays,
The bush-grass of the meadows, where wading cattle graze,
So green erewhile, are wither'd now, and thro' their thin brown leaves
The sorrowful breeze is sighing, like one in pain that grieves.
The bubbling brook, whose currents glide through banks of living green,
So clear that in the crystal depths the spotted trout were seen,
Creeps brown and turbid now, all chok'd with foliage sere-
A clouded mirror now, erewhile transparent clear;
Nor more the angler comes with tapering rod to sweep
The brook or limpid pond where dark tree-shadows creep.

I stand high up a hillside, where, far as eye may reach,
Stretch out fair woods and fields, and the sandy yellow beach;
The harvest crops are garner'd, the fields lie brown and bare,
The thresher's flail in distant barns resounds upon the air;
I hear the cowboy's call, the whistle of the bird,
And all the joyous sounds of rural life are heard.
I hear the piping quail and the gunner's weapon ring,
And see the startled coveys burst forth upon the wing;
I hear far overhead, in the upper realms of air,
The honking of wild geese, as onward swift they fare;
And in the salt bay meadows I see the fowler's boat,
I hear his gun, I see the smoke above his ambush float;
I see the platoons of the coot, the squadrons of the brant,
And hovering black-ducks, the shallow coves that haunt,
The shelldrake and the broad-bill, and all the feather'd flocks
Which haunt the open bays and wheel o'er ocean rocks.

Fair scenes, bright scenes, enchanting scenes! that fill
The heart with o'erflowing joy, and all the life pulses thrill,
So fair in all your autumn pomp, in all your summer green,
When woods are bright, skies full of light, and waters smile serene!

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