The Voice of Autumn

Author: William Cullen Bryant  | Date: 1864


There comes, from yonder height,

A soft repining sound,

Where forest-leaves are bright,

And fall, like flakes of light,

To the ground.

It is the autumn breeze,

That, lightly floating on,

Just skims the weedy leas,

Just stirs the glowing trees,

And is gone.

He moans by sedgy brook,

And visits, with a sigh,

The last pale flowers that look,

From out their sunny nook,

At the sky.

O’er shouting children flies

That light October wind,

And, kissing cheeks and eyes,

He leaves their merry cries

Far behind,

And wanders on to make

That soft uneasy sound

By distant wood and lake,

Where distant fountains break

From the ground.

No bower where maidens dwell

Can win a moment’s stay;

Nor fair untrodden dell;

He sweeps the upland swell,

And away!

Mourn’st thou thy homeless state?

O soft, repining wind!

That early seek’st and late

The rest it is thy fate,

Not to find.

Not on the mountain’s breast,

Not on the ocean’s shore,

In all the East and West:

The wind that stops to rest

Is no more.

By valleys, woods, and springs,

No wonder thou shouldst grieve

For all the glorious things

Thou touchest with thy wings

And must leave.

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Chicago: William Cullen Bryant, The Voice of Autumn Original Sources, accessed June 24, 2024,

MLA: Bryant, William Cullen. The Voice of Autumn, Original Sources. 24 Jun. 2024.

Harvard: Bryant, WC, The Voice of Autumn. Original Sources, retrieved 24 June 2024, from