As the crisp air of autumn settles in and leaves don their vibrant hues, there’s no better time to immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of fall’s poetic beauty. From Shakespearean sonnets to Frost’s evocative imagery, this collection of 25 best Autumn poems capture the essence of the season, painting vivid portraits of autumn’s magic.
I have always personally loved poetry. The way a good poem just rolls off your tongue and how just the right words fit into them like puzzle pieces. Often, even as a child, I would sit in bed reading poetry for hours.
So, whether you’re looking to cozy up by the fire or share the warmth of these words with others, or looking for some poems to inspire you this fall, let’s take a journey through the soul-stirring world of classic fall poetry.
From romantic rhymes to inspirational musings, I hope these poems offer words that will resonate deeply within you as they did for me. Or, if you’re seeking a lovely yet simple fall quote to share with your Instagram followers!
Capturing Fall’s Beauty: The Best Autumn Poems
Welcome to a curated selection of the finest autumn poems, where we delve into the timeless beauty of classic verses that have stood the test of time. These poems capture the essence of fall, a season renowned for its sweater weather, vivid foliage, and harvest celebrations.
I have my favorites, tell me which is yours? Let me know in the comments!
To Autumn by John Keats
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
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 wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
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?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
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;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
Sonnet 73 by William Shakespeare
That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruin’d choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see’st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire,
Consum’d with that which it was nourish’d by.
This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.
Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
From Sunset to Star Rise by Christina Rossetti
Go from me, summer friends, and tarry not:
I am no summer friend, but wintry cold,
A silly sheep benighted from the fold,
A sluggard with a thorn-choked garden plot.
Take counsel, sever from my lot your lot,
Dwell in your pleasant places, hoard your gold;
Lest you with me should shiver on the wold,
Athirst and hungering on a barren spot.
For I have hedged me with a thorny hedge,
I live alone, I look to die alone:
Yet sometimes, when a wind sighs through the sedge,
Ghosts of my buried years, and friends come back,
My heart goes sighing after swallows flown
On sometime summer’s unreturning track.
by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Old winter was gone
In his weakness back to the mountains hoar,
And the spring came down
From the planet that hovers upon the shore
Where the sea of sunlight encroaches
On the limits of wintry night;—
If the land, and the air, and the sea,
Rejoice not when spring approaches,
We did not rejoice in thee,
She is still, she is cold
On the bridal couch,
One step to the white deathbed,
And one to the bier,
And one to the charnel—and one, oh where?
The dark arrow fled
In the noon.
Ere the sun through heaven once has rolled,
The rats in her heart
Will have made their nest,
And the worms be alive in her golden hair,
While the Spirit that guides the sun,
Sits throned in his flaming chair,
She shall sleep.
Day in Autumn
by Rainer Maria Rilke
After the summer’s yield, Lord, it is time
to let your shadow lengthen on the sundials
and in the pastures let the rough winds fly.
As for the final fruits, coax them to roundness.
Direct on them two days of warmer light
to hale them golden toward their term, and harry
the last few drops of sweetness through the wine.
Whoever’s homeless now, will build no shelter;
who lives alone will live indefinitely so,
waking up to read a little, draft long letters,
and, along the city’s avenues,
fitfully wander, when the wild leaves loosen.
Autumn by John Clare
The thistledown’s flying, though the winds are all still,
On the green grass now lying, now mounting the hill,
The spring from the fountain now boils like a pot;
Through stones past the counting it bubbles red-hot.
The ground parched and cracked is like overbaked bread,
The greensward all wracked is, bents dried up and dead.
The fallow fields glitter like water indeed,
And gossamers twitter, flung from weed unto weed.
Hill-tops like hot iron glitter bright in the sun,
And the rivers we’re eying burn to gold as they run;
Burning hot is the ground, liquid gold is the air;
Whoever looks round sees Eternity there.
November Night by Adelaide Crapsey
With faint dry sound,
Like steps of passing ghosts,
The leaves, frost-crisp’d, break from the trees
Autumn by T. E. Hulme
A touch of cold in the Autumn night—
I walked abroad,
And saw the ruddy moon lean over a hedge
Like a red-faced farmer.
I did not stop to speak, but nodded,
And round about were the wistful stars
With white faces like town children.
Autumn Rain by D.H. Lawrence
The plane leaves
fall black and wet
on the lawn;
the cloud sheaves
in heaven’s fields set
droop and are drawn
in falling seeds of rain;
the seed of heaven
on my face
falling — I hear again
like echoes even
that softly pace
heaven’s muffled floor,
the winds that tread
out all the grain
of tears, the store
in the sheaves of pain
caught up aloft:
the sheaves of dead
men that are slain
now winnowed soft
on the floor of heaven;
of all the pain
here to us given;
falling as rain.
Autumn Song by W. H. Auden
Now the leaves are falling fast,
Nurse’s flowers will not last,
Nurses to their graves are gone,
But the prams go rolling on.
Whispering neighbours left and right
Daunt us from our true delight,
Able hands are forced to freeze
Derelict on lonely knees.
Close behind us on our track,
Dead in hundreds cry Alack,
Arms raised stiffly to reprove
In false attitudes of love.
Scrawny through a plundered wood,
Trolls run scolding for their food,
Owl and nightingale are dumb,
And the angel will not come.
Clear, unscalable, ahead
Rise the Mountains of Instead,
From whose cold cascading streams
None may drink except in dreams.
Autumn Fires by Robert Louis Stevenson
In the other gardens
And all up the vale,
From the autumn bonfires
See the smoke trail!
Pleasant summer over
And all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes,
The grey smoke towers.
Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall!
O Autumn, Autumn! by Effie Lee Newsome
O Autumn, Autumn!
O pensive light and wistful sound!
Gold-haunted sky, green-haunted ground!
When, wan, the dead leaves flutter by
Deserted realms of butterfly!
When robins band themselves together
To seek the sound of sun-steeped weather;
And all of summer’s largesse goes
For lands of olive and the rose!
Ode to the West Wind by Percy Bysshe Shelley
O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn’s being,
Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing,
Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red,
Pestilence-stricken multitudes: O thou,
Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed
The winged seeds, where they lie cold and low
Each like a corpse within its grave, until
Thine azure sister of the Spring shall blow
Her clarion o’er the dreaming earth, and fill
(Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air
With living hues and odours plain and hill
Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere;
Destroyer and preserver; hear, oh hear!
Thou on whose stream, mid the steep sky’s commotion,
Loose clouds like earth’s decaying leaves are shed,
Shook from the tangled boughs of Heaven and Ocean,
Angels of rain and lightning: there are spread
On the blue surface of thine aëry surge,
Like the bright hair uplifted from the head
Of some fierce Maenad, even from the dim verge
Of the horizon to the zenith’s height,
The locks of the approaching storm. Thou dirge
Of the dying year, to which this closing night
Will be the dome of a vast sepulchre,
Vaulted with all thy congregated might
Of vapours, from whose solid atmosphere
Black rain, and fire, and hail will burst: oh hear!
Thou who didst waken from his summer dreams
The blue Mediterranean, where he lay,
Lull’d by the coil of his crystalline streams,
Beside a pumice isle in Baiae’s bay,
And saw in sleep old palaces and towers
Quivering within the wave’s intenser day,
All overgrown with azure moss and flowers
So sweet, the sense faints picturing them! Thou
For whose path the Atlantic’s level powers
Cleave themselves into chasms, while far below
The sea-blooms and the oozy woods which wear
The sapless foliage of the ocean, know
Thy voice, and suddenly grow gray with fear,
And tremble and despoil themselves: oh hear!
If I were a dead leaf thou mightest bear;
If I were a swift cloud to fly with thee;
A wave to pant beneath thy power, and share
The impulse of thy strength, only less free
Than thou, O uncontrollable! If even
I were as in my boyhood, and could be
The comrade of thy wanderings over Heaven,
As then, when to outstrip thy skiey speed
Scarce seem’d a vision; I would ne’er have striven
As thus with thee in prayer in my sore need.
Oh, lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud!
I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed!
A heavy weight of hours has chain’d and bow’d
One too like thee: tameless, and swift, and proud.
Make me thy lyre, even as the forest is:
What if my leaves are falling like its own!
The tumult of thy mighty harmonies
Will take from both a deep, autumnal tone,
Sweet though in sadness. Be thou, Spirit fierce,
My spirit! Be thou me, impetuous one!
Drive my dead thoughts over the universe
Like wither’d leaves to quicken a new birth!
And, by the incantation of this verse,
Scatter, as from an unextinguish’d hearth
Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind!
Be through my lips to unawaken’d earth
The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind,
f Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?
Five Little Pumpkins by Dan Yaccarino
Five Little Pumpkins sitting on a gate,
The First one said “Oh my it’s getting late!”
The second one said “There’s a chill in the air.”
The Third one said “But we don’t care!”
The Fourth one said “let’s Run and Run and Run.”
The Fifth one said “I’m ready for some fun.”
Oooooooo went the wind.
And out went the lights!
And the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight!
First Fall by Maggie Smith
I’m your guide here.
In the evening-dark morning streets,
I point and name.
Look, the sycamores, their mottled,
Look, the leaves rusting and crisping at the edges.
I walk through Schiller Park with you on my chest.
Stars smolder well into daylight.
Look, the pond, the ducks,
the dogs paddling after their prized sticks.
Fall is when the only things you know
because I’ve named them begin to end.
Soon I’ll have another season to offer you:
frost soft on the window and a porthole sighed there,
ice sleeving the bare gray branches.
The first time you see something die,
you won’t know it might come back.
I’m desperate for you to love the world because I brought you here.
Leaves by Elsie N. Brady
How silently they tumble down
And come to rest upon the ground
To lay a carpet, rich and rare,
Beneath the trees without a care,
Content to sleep, their work well done,
Colors gleaming in the sun.
At other times, they wildly fly
Until they nearly reach the sky
Twisting, turning through the air
Till all the trees stand stark and bare.
Exhausted, drop to earth below
To wait, like children, for the snow.
Autumn by Alexander Posey
In the dreamy silence
Of the afternoon,
A cloth of gold is woven
Over wood and prairie;
And the jaybird, newly
Fallen from the heaven,
Scatters cordial greetings,
And the air is filled with
Scarlet leaves, that, dropping,
Rise again, as ever,
With a useless sigh for
Rest—and it is Autumn.
Fall, Leaves, Fall by Emily Brontë
Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day;
Every leaf speaks bliss to me
Fluttering from the autumn tree.
I shall smile when wreaths of snow
Blossom where the rose should grow;
I shall sing when night’s decay
Ushers in a drearier day.
Pleasant Sounds by John Clare
The rustling of leaves under the feet in woods and under hedges;
The crumpling of cat-ice and snow down wood-rides,
narrow lanes and every street causeway;
Rustling through a wood or rather rushing, while the wind
halloos in the oak-toop like thunder;
The rustle of birds’ wings startled from their nests or flying
unseen into the bushes;
The whizzing of larger birds overhead in a wood, such as
crows, puddocks, buzzards;
The trample of robins and woodlarks on the brown leaves.
and the patter of squirrels on the green moss;
The fall of an acorn on the ground, the pattering of nuts on
the hazel branches as they fall from ripeness;
The flirt of the groundlark’s wing from the stubbles –
how sweet such pictures on dewy mornings, when the
dew flashes from its brown feathers.
Merry Autumn by Paul Laurence Dunbar
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 burrs 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.
November for Beginners by Rita Dove
Snow would be the easy
way out—that softening
sky like a sigh of relief
at finally being allowed
to yield. No dice.
We stack twigs for burning
in glistening patches
but the rain won’t give.
So we wait, breeding
mood, making music
of decline. We sit down
in the smell of the past
and rise in a light
that is already leaving.
We ache in secret,
a gloomy line
or two of German.
When spring comes
we promise to act
the fool. Pour,
rain! Sail, wind,
with your cargo of zithers!
Autumn by Emily Dickinson
The morns are meeker than they were,
The nuts are getting brown;
The berry’s cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.
The maple wears a gayer scarf,
The field a scarlet gown.
Lest I should be old-fashioned,
I’ll put a trinket on.
The Falling of the Leaves by W. B. Yeats
Autumn is over the long leaves that love us,
And over the mice in the barley sheaves;
Yellow the leaves of the rowan above us,
And yellow the wet wild-strawberry leaves.
The hour of the waning of love has beset us,
And weary and worn are our sad souls now;
Let us part, ere the season of passion forget us,
With a kiss and a tear on thy drooping brow.
Song for Autumn by Mary Oliver
In the deep fall
don’t you imagine the leaves think how
comfortable it will be to touch
the earth instead of the
nothingness of air and the endless
freshets of wind?
And don’t you think
the trees themselves,
especially those with mossy,
warm caves, begin to think
of the birds that will come – six, a dozen – to sleep
inside their bodies?
And don’t you hear
the goldenrod whispering goodbye,
the everlasting being crowned with the first
tuffets of snow?
The pond vanishes, and the white field over which
the fox runs so quickly brings out
its blue shadows.
And the wind pumps its
bellows. And at evening especially,
the piled firewood shifts a little,
longing to be on its way.
Exclusive Autumn Poetry Excerpts: Free Printables for Subscribers
Exclusively available to my subscriber’s I present 27 of the best Autumn poems to read aloud. Two extra poems available to print and use as wall art in your home. 27 beautiful colorful prints to celebrate the autumn season! Simply subscribe below and get immediate access to not only this charming free printable collection, but also my entire subscriber library.
free printable wall art
This printable is for personal use only. However, feel free to share this post with friends and family so they can have these amazing timeless illustrations, too! The download will come with all 25 charming illustrations. They print on a standard 8 1/2″ x 11 “.
These digital downloads are free to my subscribers for personal use. The download link is inside the box above. Once you subscribe with your email address you get instant download access to not only this PDF file but all of the PDF files in my Subscriber Library.
The Essence of Autumn Through Poet’s Eyes
In the verses penned by celebrated poets, we’ve glimpsed the very heart of autumn. Their words, like the fall leaves, may drift and settle, but their resonance remains eternal.
I hope you found inspiration in the changing seasons, the fleeting beauty of nature, and the beautiful words. And I hope these lovely autumn poems warm your heart.
Thanks for stopping by!
Meet the Author
Hi, I’m Julie! Mother to five beautiful kids, Homeschool Educator, Writer, Handicraft & DIY Enthusiast, Photographer, Thrifter, and Furniture Restorer. Follow along for fun DIY projects creating a handmade home on a budget! Read more about me here→