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October -- Hilaire Belloc

'tis indeed October, and a cold, rainy October at that.
(Poem #226) October
  Look, how those steep woods on the mountain's face
  Burn, burn against the sunset; now the cold
  Invades our very noon: the year's grown old,
  Mornings are dark, and evenings come apace.
  The vines below have lost their purple grace,
  And in Forreze the white wrack backward rolled,
  Hangs to the hills tempestuous, fold on fold,
  And moaning gusts make desolate all the place.

  Mine host the month, at thy good hostelry,
  Tired limbs I'll stretch and steaming beast I'll tether;
  Pile on great logs with Gascon hand and free,
  And pour the Gascon stuff that laughs at weather;
  Swell your tough lungs, north wind, no whit care we,
  Singing old songs and drinking wine together.
-- Hilaire Belloc
The most striking thing about today's poem is the wonderful vividness of its
imagery. The wild, rough beauty of the French Pyrenees is brought to life
with images of wooded slopes burning against the sunset, rolling fog and
'sons of the soil', all imbued with that slightly larger-than-life, romantic
atmosphere that a more sheltered, civilized perspective lends to 'untamed


Biography et al. at poem #124

For another poem along the same lines, see poem #117

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