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  Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906)

                Merry Autumn

    It's all a farce,—these tales they tell
        About the breezes sighing,
    And moans astir o'er field and dell,
        Because the year is dying.

    Such principles are most absurd,—
        I care not who first taught 'em;
    There's nothing known to beast or bird
        To make a solemn autumn.

    In solemn times, when grief holds sway
        With countenance distressing,
    You'll note the more of black and gray
        Will then be used in dressing.

    Now purple tints are all around;
        The sky is blue and mellow;
    And e'en the grasses turn the ground
        From modest green to yellow.

    The seed burs all with laughter crack
        On featherweed and jimson;
    And leaves that should be dressed in black
        Are all decked out in crimson.

    A butterfly goes winging by;
        A singing bird comes after;
    And Nature, all from earth to sky,
        Is bubbling o'er with laughter.

    The ripples wimple on the rills,
        Like sparkling little lasses;
    The sunlight runs along the hills,
        And laughs among the grasses.

    The earth is just so full of fun
        It really can't contain it;
    And streams of mirth so freely run
        The heavens seem to rain it.

    Don't talk to me of solemn days
        In autumn's time of splendor,
    Because the sun shows fewer rays,
        And these grow slant and slender.

    Why, it's the climax of the year,—
        The highest time of living!—
    Till naturally its bursting cheer
        Just melts into thanksgiving.


The above poem can be found in:
  • Dunbar, Paul Laurence. Oak and Ivy. Dayton, OH: Press of United Brethren Publishing House, 1893.