Mellow fruitfulness

Downsman Article

I have always liked change, this sounds like a strange think as most people crave some form of stability. The changes in the seasons I especially like. The light, the dappled shade the smells on the air its all good as far as I’m concern. Spring I think everyone loves ,except maybe those afflicted with hay fever; but autumn with its nod towards colder inclement weather, and drawn in nights is another matter.

Each season has its merits and this time of the year in the woods is my favourite, it’s a time of bounty with nuts, fungi and fruits ready to harvest. I shall make my annual visit to my favourite chestnut soon collecting nuts for my Christmas stuffing. The quality of the light is also amazing with the mellowing tones of the leaves beginning to turn and fall. The sun shining through the trees at sunset the deer barking their autumn call. There’s also an earthy smell in the air which is difficult to explain, but I just love.

The season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, springs to mind. I’ve used this quote so many times and as I’m not one for litrature I wondered where this came from, I stumbled across this.

John Keats (1819)

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness

Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun

Conspiring with him how to load and bless

With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;

To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,

And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;

To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells

With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,

And still more, later flowers for the bees,

Until they think warm days will never cease,

For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.


Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?

Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find

Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,

Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;

Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,

Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook

Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:

And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep

Steady thy laden head across a brook;

Or by a cider-press, with patient look,

Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.


Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?

Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,–

While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,

And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;

Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn

Among the river sallows, borne aloft

Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;

And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;

Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft

The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;

And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.


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