“Ode to Autumn” by John Keats

Ode To Autumn
Poem lyrics of Ode To Autumn by John Keats.

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-eaves run;
To bend with apples the mossed 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-brimmed their clammy cell.

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-reaped furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed 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 redbreast whistles from a garden-croft,
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

The poem “Ode to Autumn” is one of the more popular poems of Keats and is known for its undercurrents of death and dying being signified by autumn and mellow fruitfulness.The poem lacks the complexity of thought and classical allusions of the other poems of the poet but is full of exquisite sensory imagery ,more particularly visual imagery. The entire season has been described with “visual-dynamic” images suggesting growth ,decay and death .The images thus refer to the process rather than static objects thereby reinforcing the seasons being born,slowly growing and then maturing and ripening. Just look at the “growing” images-“load and bless”,”vines that round the thatch run”,”swell the gourd”,”budding”,”more and still more”,”over-brimmed”,”seen thee”,”sitting careless”,”soft-lifted”,”winnowing wind”,”twined flowers”,”last oozings”.

Now let us look at the “dying” images -“soft-dying day”,”touch the stubble fields -a tactile-visual image of harvested fields,”small gnats mourn”(death image),”light wind lives or dies”( a dying image),”full-grown lambs loud bleat”(auditory-dynamic image suggestive of the imminent slaughter of the sheep)”gathering swallows “(readying for migration)