April, the U.S.'s National Month of Poetry is over, but I just had to post this lovely poem by Keats to really wrap things up. You may remember the opening line of this poem is quoted in "Bridget Jones' Diary"--ah, Hugh Grant, you cad!
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring Working together; literally, to conspire is “to breathe together” (OED)with him how to load and bless Conspiring Working together; literally, to conspire is “to breathe together” (OED)
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves
thatch-eves Thatch-eaves, the edge of thatched roofsrun; thatch-eves Thatch-eaves, the edge of thatched roofs
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing
winnowing Separating the wheat from the chaff, the heavy from the lightwind; winnowing Separating the wheat from the chaff, the heavy from the light
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
hook Scythehook Scythe
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner
gleaner One who gathers the remaining food after the reaper has harvested the fieldthou dost keep gleaner One who gathers the remaining food after the reaper has harvested the field
Steady thy laden
laden Loaded downhead across a brook; laden Loaded down
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.
Where are the songs of spring? Ay, Where are they?Where are they? Rhetorical convention known as ubi sunt, often appearing in poems that meditate on the transitory nature of life and the inevitability of death.
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom
bloom “to colour with a soft warm tint or glow” (OED)the soft-dying day, bloom “to colour with a soft warm tint or glow” (OED)
And touch the stubble-plains
stubble-plains Fields made up of stubble, the remaining stumps of grain left after reapingwith rosy hue; stubble-plains Fields made up of stubble, the remaining stumps of grain left after reaping
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows
sallows Willow trees, borne aloft sallows Willow trees
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft
garden-croft A croft is a small enclosed field; garden-croft A croft is a small enclosed field
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
-- John Keats