Autumn eBook

Robert Nathan
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 116 pages of information about Autumn.

Juliet was singing along the roadside.  “A tisket,” she sang, “a tasket, a green and yellow basket . . .”  And she chanted, to a tune of her own, an old verse she had once heard Mr. Jeminy singing: 

  When I was a young man,
  I said, bright and bold,
  I would be a great one,
  When I was old.

  When I was a young man,
  But that was long ago,
  I sang the merry old songs
  All men know.

  When I was a young man,
  When I was young and smart,
  I think I broke a mirror,
  Or a girl’s heart.

Mr. Jeminy walked in the middle of the road, under the dying sky, already lighted by the young moon, in the west.  As he walked, the fresh air of evening, blowing on his face, with its sweet odors, the twilight notes of birds among the leaves, the faint acclaim of bells, and Juliet’s childish singing, filled his heart with unaccustomed peace, moved him with gentle and deliberate joy.  He remembered the voices he had heard in the little schoolhouse in the spring.

“Jeminy, what are you doing?”

Then Mr. Jeminy raised his head to the sky, in which the first stars of night were to be seen.

“I am very busy now,” he said, proudly.



From her dormer window, Anna Barly peered out at the wet, gray morning.  The ground was sopping, the trees black with the night’s drenching.  In the orchard a sparrow sang an uncertain song; and she heard the comfortable drip, drip, drip from the eaves.  It was damp and fresh at the window; the breeze, cold and fragrant after rain, made her shiver.  She drew her wrapper closer about her throat, and sat staring out across the sodden lawn, with idle thoughts for company.

She thought that she was young, and that the world was old:  that rain belonged to youth.  Old age should sit in the sun, but youth was best of all in bad weather.  “There’s no telling where you are in the rain.  And there’s no one spying, for every one’s indoors, keeping dry.”  Yes, youth is quite a person in the rain.

With slim, lazy fingers, she began to braid her long, fair hair.  It seemed to her that folks were always peering and prying, to make sure that every one else was like themselves.  “You’re doing different than what I did,” they said.

Anna wanted to “do different.”  Yet she was without courage or wisdom.  And because she was sulky and heedless, Mrs. Ploughman called her Sara Barly’s rebellious daughter.  As Mrs. Ploughman belonged to the Methodist side of the town, Mrs. Tomkins was usually ready to disagree with her.  But on this occasion, all Mrs. Tomkins could think to say, was:  “Well, that’s queer.”

“But what’s she got to be rebellious over?” she asked, peering brightly at Mrs. Ploughman.

“Perhaps,” said Mrs. Ploughman, “she’s sorry she wasn’t born a boy.”

“Well,” cried Mrs. Tomkins, “I never heard of such a thing.”

Project Gutenberg
Autumn from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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