14 October 2013

The October Series: Part 3 with William Cullen Bryant

 
Golden Beech Leaves
It is interesting to compare the style of writing between Riley and William Cullen Bryant, who wrote his verses on October close to 50 years before Riley's "Hoosieresque" style.  Bryant's style is in keeping with other New Englanders like Thoreau and Longfellow....and sounds a bit too aristocratic, but not uncommon for the era.  I can only imagine being inspired to write amid the fall colors of New England.

October
by William Cullen Bryant

Ay, thou art welcome, heaven's delicious breath!
When woods begin to wear the crimson leaf,
And suns grow meek, and the meek suns grow brief
And the year smiles as it draws near its death.
Wind of the sunny south! oh, still delay
In the gay woods and in the golden air,
Like to a good old age released from care,
Journeying, in long serenity, away.
In such a bright, late quiet, would that I
Might wear out life like thee, 'mid bowers and brooks
And dearer yet, the sunshine of kind looks,
And music of kind voices ever nigh;
And when my last sand twinkled in the glass,
Pass silently from men, as thou dost pass.

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