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1913 > Sligo Poetry 1913 > Sligo Times

 Sligo Times 11 October 1913

And thou art here again October,
In all thy moods, both gay and sober;
And come arrayed in all thy glory,
To tell once more the old, old story,
That thou hast told o’er age on age,
To gleesome child and hoary sage;
And all thy signals do appear
To mark the waning of the year.

We read that story in the lines,
As written in the many signs
We see around us, here and there.
And we can trace them everywhere.

The hoar frost falling in the night
Doth drape the earth in silvery white,
And decks the leaves upon the trees
(Soon to be scattered by the breeze),
And turns them from the darkest green
To colours gay as e’er was seen.
The fields that were so fair in view
Are changed into an ashen hue;
The fruit that hung upon the bough
Is withered, or is garnered now.

The flowers that blossomed bright and fair,
And cast their fragrance on the air,
Have felt thy touch, and drop their head—
Their leaves are scattered o’er their bed;
No more they’ll bloom ‘til sun and rain
Of spring time bring them back again.
A few there are still linger here,
A little while, our hearts to cheer;
To-day they may be fair and bright,
And lose their beauty in a night.

The little birds sing in the grove,
The pretty songs are always love,
And give to us their sweetest strain,
That we may welcome them again,
When they return to us in spring,
The same sweet songs again to sing.


The squirrel, skipping here and there,
So quickly o’er the ground,
Is looking eager for his share
Of nuts that may be found.

The hedge-hog and the dormouse small
Retire into their nests,
And, rolled up snugly like a ball,
They take their silent rest.

The kine, which through the summer’s heat,
Were found within the glade,
Now on the hillside bright we meet—
Nor look for cooling shade.

The barns are full of hay and grain
Drawn from the meadows near,
Secure from winter’s snow and rain
That shortly will appear.

We turn our gaze up towards the sky,
If other signs we seek;
We see the wild geese as they fly—
Their leader at the peak:
And flocks of duck fly high in air,
For well they seem to know,
Beneath them, lying in his lair,
The hunter’s lying low.

The water in the little rill
(While creeping round beneath the hill)
At your approach it seems to say,
"I’m running fast to get away,
Before cold winter in his might
Shall grasp me in his arms so tight."

All nature rests in sweet repose,
After her summer’s strife;
She’s brought her labours to a close,
And now renews her life.

And many other things appear
By which we know that thou are here,
And joyous youth, or grandsire sober
Can read the tale you write, October.


Calgary, Canada.


This long poem is a tour de force into which the poet crams as many of the general attributes of autumn as he/she can. It is full of commonplace generalities written in archaic "poetic" language. There is little sense of the particular and we have no idea to what specific place the poem refers.

Most of the poem is written in rhyming couplets but when he tells us about the animals he moves to abab rhyming quatrains with indents. He returns to the rhyming couplets but inserts one last abab quatrain before the final stanza.

The identity of the poet is unknown. It is, I suppose, just possible that it is a Sligo-born exile but one might expect a different poem in that case. The autumn portrayed in the poem does seem more old world than new world.

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