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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889


By Benjamin Franklin Taylor (1819–1887)

[Born in Lowville, N. Y., 1819. Died in Cleveland, O., 1887. From Old-Time Pictures, and Sheaves of Rhyme. 1874.]

WHEN October comes,

And poplars drift their leafage down in flakes of gold below,

And beeches burn like twilight fires that used to tell of snow,

And maples bursting into flame set all the hills a-fire,

And Summer from her evergreens sees Paradise draw nigher—

A thousand sunsets all at once distil like Hermon’s dew,

And linger on the waiting woods and stain them through and through,

As if all earth had blossomed out, one grand Corinthian flower,

To crown Time’s graceful capital for just one gorgeous hour!

They strike their colors to the king of all the stately throng—

He comes in pomp, OCTOBER! To him all times belong:

The frost is on his sandals, but the flush is on his cheeks,

September sheaves are in his arms, June voices when he speaks;

The elms lift bravely like a torch within a Grecian hand:

See where they light the Monarch on through all the splendid land!

The sun puts on a human look behind the hazy fold,

The mid-year moon of silver is struck anew in gold,

In honor of the very day that Moses saw of old,

For in the Burning Bush that blazed as quenchless as a sword

The old Lieutenant first beheld October and the Lord!

Ah, then, October, let it be—

I’ll claim my dying day from thee!