Poetry Sunday: An October Garden

Yesterday we observed the monthly Bloom Day meme. Let's follow that with a poem about the garden in autumn.

Christina Georgina Rossetti wrote of a garden that is on the wane as the last rosebud uncloses to autumn's "languid sun and rain." Even that last rose, "least and last of all," is still a rose and still smells sweet.

My garden, too, has begun its slow decline into what passes for winter here. In colder areas, the decline is swifter, more sudden. But it is the natural progression of things and we welcome it because the garden and the gardener need their rest.

An October Garden

by Christina Georgina Rossetti

In my Autumn garden I was fain
To mourn among my scattered roses;
Alas for that last rosebud which uncloses
To Autumn's languid sun and rain
When all the world is on the wane!
Which has not felt the sweet constraint of June, 
Nor heard the nightingale in June.

Broad-faced asters by my garden walk,
You are but coarse compared with roses:
More choice, more dear that rosebud which uncloses
Faint-scented, pinched, upon its stalk,
That least and last which cold winds balk;
A rose it is though least and last of all,
A rose to me though at the fall.


  1. Such a mixed feeling I get at this time of year. No more braving the heat with my hose to save the growing things and that is, as you say, a wonderful feeling of rest, but sadness as I see my plants go into rest mode themselves, knowing I will miss their happy summer blooming. What a beautiful poem.

    1. It is a bittersweet time, a time for reflection. But that is not a bad thing. I think the poem expresses that well - a rose is still a rose even in autumn.

  2. "...Alas for that last rosebud which uncloses
    To Autumn's languid sun and rain
    When all the world is on the wane!"

    I like that! :-)

  3. What a lovely poem and a perfect description of this time of year. I think much the same way about the little crocuses in the spring--they are such a welcome sight after winter that they are as beautiful as roses.

    1. Indeed. Different flowers are beautiful in their own way and in their own time. I like the "broad-faced asters," too, but apparently Rossetti was especially devoted to roses.


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