by Elizabeth Bentley
HAIL! temp'rate Autumn, Nymph sedate,
With russet clad in simple state,
Thou claim'st the votive lay;
Thy dew the thirsty earth revives,
Each drooping plant new strength derives,
Nor dreads the scorching ray.
Though blooming Spring delights no more,
And ruddy Summer's charms are o'er,
Some beauties grace thy reign;
A second Spring adorns thy breast,
Some blushing flow'rets deck thy vest,
The last in Nature's train.
Now sheaf-crown'd Ceres leads her throng,
Whilst Gratitude inspires their song,
To Heav'n's all-bounteous King;
Now rural mirth their hours employ,
With chearful sounds of guiltless joy
The peaceful vallies ring.
See, rich Pomona next appears,
Her choicest wealth the Goddess bears,
To crown thy festive board;
The Vine her circling arms extends,
Beneath her purple burden bends,
With luscious nectar stor'd.
While yet thy golden presents please,
Rude Winter's hand unrobes the trees,
And ends thy mild domain;
And soon the tyrant's piercing storm
Shall Nature's beauteous face deform,
And desolate the plain.
Thus flee our days with swiftest pace,
Seasons to seasons yield their place,
And year to year succeeds;
Thus spends vain man his transient life,
Immers'd in pleasure, bus'ness, strife,
Nor Wisdom's dictates heeds.
But soon the gay delusion's past,
And Time, with Age's wint'ry blast,
Each fleeting bliss destroys;
Ah! be it then our ceaseless care
To fit th' immortal soul to share
In Heav'n's substantial joys.
Last updated January 14, 2019