Gustav Holst

Goodbye Autumn: Hello Winter

Poetic Beats

Welcome to this week’s edition of Poetic Beats with Howard Bond and Davy D recorded on the 27th of November 2017 on Red Kite Radio.

With Autumn coming to and end in the UK and Winter approaching, we look at the poem Autumn Violets, by Christina Rossetti. The poem reflects on how everything has its place, with Violets being flowers of the Spring.

Christina Rossetti is regarded as one of the greatest English poets of the 19th Century. Her most famous poem, A Christmas Carol, will be sung all over the world throughout Christmas. Placed to music by Gustav Holst in 1906, the song version was titled, In the Bleak Midwinter.

If you are having difficulty accessing the recording, a text version of the poem is provided after the sound bar.

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Autumn Violets


Keep love for youth, and violets for the spring:

Or if these bloom when worn-out autumn grieves,

Let them lie hid in double shade of leaves,

Their own, and others dropped down withering;

For violets suit when home birds build and sing,

Not when the outbound bird a passage cleaves;

Not with dry stubble of mown harvest sheaves,

But when the green world buds to blossoming.

Keep violets for the spring, and love for youth,

Love that should dwell with beauty, mirth, and hope:

Or if a later sadder love be born,

Let this not look for grace beyond its scope,

But give itself, nor plead for answering truth—

A grateful Ruth tho’ gleaning scanty corn.


Christina Georgina Rossetti: