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Persimmon Poetry:
Autumn in the South
by Joseph Addison Turner
(1853)

 
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Autumn in the South

by Joseph Addison Turner, (1826-1868)

At eve and morn the wanton breeze
  Doth dip his feet in Tyrian dews,
And paint the foliage on the trees
  With golden, purple, crimson hues.

The zephyr comes with mellow wing,
  Comes laden with autumnal sounds,
From neighboring hills, where echoes ring,
  From meadows coursed by baying hounds.

And in the browning stubble's heard
  The buzzing of the insect throng,
And from the wood the summer bird
  Is pouring forth its farewell song.

The plaintative killdee seeks the rill,
  the partridge whistles in the copse,
The gun is echoed from the hill,
  And from the tree the squirrel drops.

The cotton dons its robe of white,
  The maize is golden in the field,
The moon sheds forth a milder light,
  Less torrid is the solar shield.

The rustic corn-song lades the breeze,
  As chanted forth by merry slaves—
Few sons of toil more blessed than these,
  Though Beecher cants, and Parker raves.

The grapes are purple on the vine,
  Persimmons turn to golden hue,
Grows ripe the luscious muscadine,
  And autumn fruitage greets the view.

Now Cuffee winds his merry horn,
  And Towzer leaps with frantic joy—
Wo to the 'possum—ere 'tis morn,
  He's food for negro girl and boy.

The road is now with teamsters strewn,
  Who crack their whis as on they ride—
No monarch seated on his throne,
  Is loftier in his regal pride.

'Tis sad, 'tis true, yet pleasant all,
  When autumn's genial sun is shed,
When flower's decay, and leaflets fall,
  And low, and breezes fan the head.

Merry Dale, Near Eatonton, Ga. Sept. 1853

Turner, Joseph Addison.  1854.  Autumn in the South.  Southern Literary Messenger.  Volume 20: Issue 11 (November).