By John Clare


  1. Fitful gust: strong wind
  2. Casement: windows that open like a door
  3. Shakes: tremble
  4. Mossy elm tree:  a type of tree with shiny skin / covered with moss
  5. Faded leaves: pale leaves
  6. Twirling them by the window-pane: the leaves spun around by the casement and fall down to lie with other leaves of countless number in the lane.
  7. Shaking twig: branches of trees are trembling in wind
  8. Shut of eve: end of evening time
  9. Cottage rig: cottage roof made of straw
  10. Chirp: A short, high-pitched sound of a bird
  11. Spring was just now flirting / in summer’s lap….: denotes change of season i.e. spring is trifling to take rest in the lap of summer
  12. Flirting: trifling
  13. Cottage smoke curl upwards: smoke is coming out of the kitchen chimney
  14. Naked trees: trees without any cover or leaves
  15. Cote: ‘Cote’ is a shelter for animals or birds.
  16. Heath: field
  17. Nestled: (Here) flying / roaming
  18. Dunghill: a heap of dung
  19. Crowing: call of a cock/hen
  20. Raven’s breast: A large bird having black feathers and a croaking cry.
  21. Stubble lea: Grain or hay remaining on a grassland after harvesting.
  22. Acorns: The fruit of an oak
  23. Drop pattering down: acorns are falling with repeated light tapping sound
  24. Grunting pigs: pigs are crying (Grunting is the cry of pigs)
  25. Scramble: crawl

Substance of the poem:

In this poem the poet brilliantly depicts the season of autumn. The poet loves this season as strong wind blows all day and shakes the casement and the Elm tree sheds its thousands of leaves which can be seen through the open window. The small branches of the tree tremble in the wind till the evening. The poet loves the chirping of the sparrow which makes the poet believe that season is changing (spring is near). The poet watches that the smoke of burning fire is coming out of the cottage and curls up through the bare tree. In the dull day of November, the pigeons stay in their nests instead of making flight of long distances. The cock is crowing upon a heap of dung. The day being windy the sails of the mills run upon the heath throughout the day. As a raven flies by a stray feather from its breast falls upon the grassy land. The acorns fall down from the oak tree and the grunting pig hurries to wherever they fall.

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