O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stainèd
With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit
Beneath my shady roof; there thou may'st rest,
And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe,
And all the daughters of the year shall dance!
Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers.
The sun, and love runs in her thrilling veins;
Blossoms hang round the brows of Morning, and
Flourish down the bright cheek of modest Eve,
Till clust'ring Summer breaks forth into singing,
And feather'd clouds strew flowers round her head.
Of fruit; and Joy, with pinions light, roves round
The gardens, or sits singing in the trees.'
Thus sang the jolly Autumn as he sat;
Then rose, girded himself, and o'er the bleak
Hills fled from our sight; but left his golden load.
Yeah, I'm posting this a day late. What's it to ya?
I'm struck, on reading this over, by the way this poem positions Autumn's "lusty" song as central, only to absent him in the last line.
The structure of the poem is anticipation of Autumn and his song (stanza 1), the song of Autumn (stanzas 2 and 3), and the departure of Autumn (stanza 3). [None of Blake's other season poems have this structure] The song of Autumn -- the centerpiece -- can't be contained by the form of the poem: the song spills over the constraints of form (organically, we might say) from one stanza to the next, though it breaks neatly on the period of a syntatical sentence.
That is to say, a reader may think that the song is over when it continues abruptly in the next stanza.
There is almost certainly a Fall from the Garden of Eden reference in here as well. We start with the blood of grapes (foreshadowing the necessity of communion), Autumn references "modest Eve" (summoning the thought of both evening and the character from Genesis), and then he departs (the fall from the Garden?).
There’s a lot that could be said here about the radical political implications of Blake’s subversion of poetic form (this was written at the beginning of his career as a poet, long before he *really* began exploding poetic form, as he would in the 1790s and especially the 1800s: the child is the father of the man, as always). There’s also a lot to say about the sexuality of this poem in its eighteenth-century context. And there’s also, aside from the Garden of Eden stuff, an echo of Milton’s Lycidas in the third stanza.