October : from A Calendar of Sonnets by Helen Hunt Jackson

My other duty, as the month ends, is, of course, to go over to Helen Hunt Jackson for the monthly weather forecast.  So what’s October got in store for us, Helen?


The month of carnival of all the year,
When Nature lets the wild earth go its way
And spend whole seasons on a single day.
The spring-time holds her white and purple dear;
October, lavish, flaunts them far and near;
The summer charily her reds doth lay
Like jewels on her costliest array;
October, scornful, burns them on a bier.
The winter hoards his pearls of frost in sign
Of kingdom: whiter pearls than winter knew,
Or Empress wore, in Egypt’s ancient line,
October, feasting ‘neath her dome of blue,
Drinks at a single draught, slow filtered through
Sunshiny air, as in a tingling wine!

Sounds promising, though I must say that – whatever her merits as a poet and social reformer – Hunt Jackson’s predictions for September (“O golden month! How high thy gold is heaped!”)  proved a little wide of the mark.  I think we do have to bear in mind that the Falls in her native New England are reputed to be more ostentatious than we can normally expect here in Leicestershire.


These variable conditions can, though, produce some quite pleasing effects, such as this rainbow, which arches from Lidl –

to St. Nicholas’s –


I wonder which end conceals the pot of gold?

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