Saturday, October 25, 2014

Portrait of Autumn / Thomas Chatterton

from Aella: A tragycal enterlude:

When Autumn bleak and sunburnt doth appear
With golden hand gilding the falling leaf,
Bringing up Winter to fulfill the year,
Bearing upon his back the ripened sheaf,
When all the hills with woolly seed are white,
When lightning-fires and gleams do meet from far the sight;

When the fair apple, red as evening sky,
Down bends the tree unto the fruitful ground,
When juicy pears, and berries of black dye,
Do dance in air and tempt the taste around;
Then be the evening foul or evening fair,
Methinks that my heart's joy is marred with with some dark care.

Modernized by Charles Edward Russell (1860-1941)
from Thomas Chatterton: The marvelous boy, 1908

Whanne Autumpne blake and sonne-brente doe appere,
With hys goulde honde guylteynge the falleynge lefe,
Bryngeynge oppe Wynterr to folfylle the yere,
Beerynge uponne hys backe the riped shefe;
Whan al the hyls wythe woddie sede ys whyte;
Whanne levynne-fyres and lemes do mete from far the syghte;

Whann the fayre apple, rudde as even skie,
Do bende the tree unto the fructyle grounde;
When joicie peres, and berries of blacke die,
Doe daunce yn ayre, and call the eyne arounde;
Thann, bee the even foule or even fayre,
Meethynckes mie hartys joie ys steynced wyth somme care.

Thomas Chatterton (1752-1770)
from The Rowley Poems of Thomas Chatterton, 1911

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Thomas Chatterton biography

No comments:

Post a Comment