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.
At first glance, this poem from Emily Brontë may seem bleak or joyless, but I do not think that is the case. I felt compelled to post this poem today, as it was the first day when it felt like summer would soon fade away and bring with it the gorgeous New England fall weather so many, myself included, cherish. Thinking about the inherent beauties of fall and winter, this poem starts to feel much less bleak and takes on a bit of a wry twist.
The Brontë sisters are not exactly known for being cheerful. They were not those I would call "summer" people. The heat and brightness can be oppressive at times, and I know I certainly prefer colder weather to hotter. I don't think there's any genuine malice wished towards summer in this poem. Read it with a half-cocked smile and it takes on a far more playful tone. Fall, leaves, give us longer nights, falling leaves, blossoming wreaths of snow instead of roses. What day better to sit by the fire with a book than a dreary one? Looked at in this way, the poem seems to me to anticipate those sorts of winter days when one wants nothing more than to cozy up to a nice book under a warm blanket, watching snow lazily fall.
First though, the leaves must fall. I've had enough of hot summer days, so I know I'm looking forward to the falling of the leaves and turning of the seasons.