Now farewell, summer's fervid sky,
That, while the sun thro' Cancer rides
With chariot slow, and fever'd eye,
Scorches the beach-clad forest sides!
And farewell earlier autumn's sober ray,
Which, the warm labours of the sickle o'er,
Could make the heart of swain industrious gay,
Viewing in barn secure his wheaten store,
What time the social hours mov'd blithe along,
Urg'd by the nut-brown ale, and jolly harvest-song.

What different scenes around me rise!
Now midst a naked scene I roam,
Where the rude haunt in hillocks lies,
Where the rash sportsman frights the grove.
Ah! cruel sport; ah! pain-awak'ning sound!
How hoarse your death-note to his list'ning ear,
Who late, wild-warbled-music floating sound,
Blest the wild warblers of the rising year;
Who, as each songster strain'd his little throat,
Grateful himself would try the soft responsive note.

Yet still in autumn's fading form
The tender melting charm we chace,
(Such as, love's season past still warm
The sober matron's modest face)
Mild-beaming suns, oft hid by fleeting clouds,
Blue mantled skies, light fringed with golden hues,
Brooks, whose swoln waters mottled leaves o'erspread;
Fields, where the plough, its steady course pursues;
And woods, whose many-shining leaves might move
Fancy's poetic hand to paint some orange grove.

Oh! still, for fancy is a child,
Still with the circling hours I play,
And feast on hips and blackberries wild,
As truant school-boy gay;
Or eager plunge in cool pellucid stream,
Heedless, that Summer's sultry day is fled;
Or muse, as breathes the flute, the rural theme,
Such theme as fancy's song may yet bestead;
Or stretch'd at ease will teach the list'ning groves
In tuneful Maro's strains, some rosy rustic loves.

Now bear me to the distant wood;
Or bear me to the silent stream,
Where erst I stray'd in serious mood,
Lost in some rapt'rous dream,
To me, Oh! Hornsey, what retreat so fair?
What shade to me so consecrate as thine?
And, on thy bank, poor streamlet, did I care
For all the spring-haunts of the tunefull nine?
Ah! pleasures, how ye lengthen, as ye fade,
As spreads the sun's faint orb at twilight's dubious shade.

For, Oh! pale stream, how many a tear
I mingled in thy waters slow!
For, mid the blossoms of its spring,
Youth has its tale of woe!
And thus thro' life — for what is human life?
A changeful day, a motley-tinctur'd scene;
How quick succeed the hours of peace and strife!
How sombre tints o'erspread the chearful green!
E'en while faint hope lights up her brightest sky,
She wavers midst her doubts, and learns to heave a sigh.

But, lo! the sun now seeks the west,
And, see! the distant landscape dies—
And, now with anxious cares opprest
I view yon dome arise.
Ah! soon, too soon I give the faint adieu,
And my song sleeps, as fades the cheerful day;
Soon shall the dusky city bound my view,
And hag-eyed Spleen November's call obey:
Ye fields, ye groves, whose every charm could please,
Ye gentle friends, adieu, and farewell, rural ease.

Yet fields, and groves, and gentle friends,
When memory bids, shall re-appear,
Quick, where she lifts her wand, ascend
The long departed year;
The choirs, whose warblings charm'd the youthful spring,
And summer's glittering tribes, and all that now
Of autumn fades, their mingled charms shall bring,
And the full year mid winter's reign shall glow;
While fancy, as the vision'd forms arise,
Shall pencil woods, and groves, and fields, and purple skies.

More verses by George Dyer

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