Welcome to a great collection of autumn and fall poems for kids! Be sure to check out the very bottom of the page for a few additional autumn poem resources for younger children. (Many of these are classic autumn poems for kids; however, I have only posted poems which I am positive are in the public domain.)

In this collection you will find:

• A Song of the Woods by Winifred Sackville Stoner, Jr.
• A Fall Song by Ellen Robena Field
• Autumn Fires by Robert Louis Stevenson
• Autumn, Queen of Year by Winifred Sackville Stoner, Jr.
• Down to Sleep by Helen Hunt Jackson
• Farewell to the Farm by Robert Louis Stevenson
• How the Leaves Came Down by Susan Coolidge
• November by Alice Cary
• November Morning by Evaleen Stein
• September by Helen Hunt Jackson
• October’s Bright Blue Weather by Helen Hunt Jackson
• The Huskers by John Greenleaf Whittier
• “After Apple-Picking” by Robert Frost
• The Migration of the Grey Squirrels by William Howitt

A Song of the Woods

by Winifred Sackville Stoner, Jr. (1902–1983) (Written between age five and twelve.)

“My leaves are turning crimson,” the giant oak tree said,
“It’s almost time these children should seek their winter’s bed,
But how they still cling to me and gleam with crimson hue,
They truly are more lovely than cirrus clouds of blue.

“And now throughout the forest – list! hear their voices ring,
But ’tis in tones of sadness and sighing they now sing –
‘Alas! ’tis gone, fair summer, and winter’s reign is near,
He cruelly strips the forest of all her summer cheer
By killing all her lovely leaves and likewise flowers gay
And driving all her fairy folk to homes of far away.'”

A Fall Song

by Ellen Robena Field (published 1894)

Golden and red trees
Nod to the soft breeze,
As it whispers, “Winter is near;”
And the brown nuts fall
At the wind’s loud call,
For this is the Fall of the year.

Good-by, sweet flowers!
Through bright Summer hours
You have filled our hearts with cheer
We shall miss you so,
And yet you must go,
For this is the Fall of the year.

Now the days grow cold,
As the year grows old,
And the meadows are brown and sere;
Brave robin redbreast
Has gone from his nest,
For this is the Fall of the year.

I do softly pray
At the close of day,
That the little children, so dear,
May as purely grow
As the fleecy snow
That follows the Fall of the year.

Autumn Fires

by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–1894)

In the other gardens
And all up the vale,
From the autumn bonfires
See the smoke trail!

Pleasant summer over
And all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes,
The grey smoke towers.

Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall!

Autumn, Queen of Year

by Winifred Sackville Stoner, Jr. (1902–1983) (Written between age five and twelve.)

When the pumpkins are so yellow
And the vines with grapes abound,
When the melons are so mellow
And the nuts fall to the ground;
When persimmons lose their bitters,
And the apples are so red;
When we love to eat corn fritters
Since the roasting ears have fled;
When vacation days are over
And the children go to school,
They no longer play in clover,
But much learn “Arithmos-rule,”
When weird Hallowe’en’s most naughty elves
With gnomes and sprites appear,
While fat Thanksgiving fills the shelves –

Down to Sleep

by Helen Hunt Jackson (1830 – 1885)

November woods are bare and still;
November days are clear and bright;
Each noon burns up the morning’s chill;
The morning’s snow is gone by night.
Each day my steps grow slow, grow light,
As through the woods I reverent creep,
Watching all things lie “down to sleep.”

I never knew before what beds,
Fragrant to smell, and soft to touch,
The forest sifts and shapes and spreads;
I never knew before how much
Of human sound there is in such
Low tones as through the forest sweep,
When all wild things lie “down to sleep.”

Each day I find new coverlids
Tucked in, and more sweet eyes shut tight;
Sometimes the viewless mother bids
Her ferns kneel down full in my sight;
I hear their chorus of “good-night”;
And half I smile, and half I weep,
Listening while they lie “down to sleep.”

November woods are bare and still;
November days are bright and good;
Life’s noon burns up life’s morning chill;
Life’s night rests feet which long have stood;
Some warm soft bed, in field or wood,
The mother will not fail to keep,
Where we can “lay us down to sleep.”

Farewell to the Farm

 by Robert Louis Stevenson (1850–1894)

The coach is at the door at last;
The eager children, mounting fast
And kissing hands, in chorus sing:
Good-bye, good-bye, to everything!

To house and garden, field and lawn,
The meadow-gates we swang upon,
To pump and stable, tree and swing,
Good-bye, good-bye, to everything!

And fare you well for evermore,
O ladder at the hayloft door,
O hayloft where the cobwebs cling,
Good-bye, good-bye, to everything!

Crack goes the whip, and off we go;
The trees and houses smaller grow;
Last, round the woody turn we sing:
Good-bye, good-bye, to everything!

How the Leaves Came Down

by Susan Coolidge (1835 – 1905)

“I’ll tell you how the leaves came down,”
The great tree to his children said,
“You’re getting sleepy, Yellow and Brown,
Yes, very sleepy, little Red.
It is quite time to go to bed.”

“Ah!” begged each silly, pouting leaf,
“Let us a little longer stay;
Dear Father Tree, behold our grief;
Tis such a very pleasant day
We do not want to go away.”

So, for just one more merry day
To the great tree the leaflets clung,
Frolicked and danced, and had their way,
Upon the autumn breezes swung,
Whispering all their sports among,–

“Perhaps the great tree will forget,
And let us stay until the spring,
If we all beg, and coax, and fret.”
But the great tree did no such thing;
He smiled to hear their whispering.

“Come, children, all to bed,” he cried;
And ere the leaves could urge their prayer,
He shook his head, and far and wide,
Fluttering and rustling everywhere,
Down sped the leaflets through the air.

I saw them; on the ground they lay,
Golden and red, a huddled swarm,
Waiting till one from far away,
White bedclothes heaped upon her arm,
Should come to wrap them safe and warm.

The great bare tree looked down and smiled,
“Good-night, dear little leaves,” he said.
And from below each sleepy child
Replied, “Good-night,” and murmured,
“It is so nice to go to bed!”


by Alice Cary (1820 – 1871)

The leaves are fading and falling;
The winds are rough and wild;
The birds have ceased their calling–
But let me tell you, my child,

Though day by day, as it closes,
Doth darker and colder grow,
The roots of the bright red roses
Will keep alive in the snow.

And when the winter is over,
The boughs will get new leaves,
The quail come back to the clover,
And the swallow back to the eaves.

The robin will wear on his bosom
A vest that is bright and new,
And the loveliest wayside blossom
Will shine with the sun and dew.

The leaves today are whirling;
The brooks are all dry and dumb–
But let me tell you, my darling,
The spring will be sure to come.

There must be rough, cold weather,
And winds and rains so wild;
Not all good things together
Come to us here, my child.

So, when some dear joy loses
Its beauteous summer glow,
Think how the roots of the roses
Are kept alive in the snow.

November Morning

by Evaleen Stein (1863 – 1923)

A tingling, misty marvel
Blew hither in the night,
And now the little peach-trees
Are clasped in frozen light.

Upon the apple branches
An icy film is caught,
With trailing threads of gossamer
In pearly patterns wrought.

The autumn sun, in wonder,
Is gayly peering through
This silver tissued network
Across the frosty blue.

The weather vane is fire tipped,
The honeysuckle shows
A dazzling icy splendor,
And crystal is the rose.

Around the eaves are fringes
Of icicles that seem
To mock the summer rainbows
With many colored gleam.

Along the walk, the pebbles
Are each a precious stone;
The grass is tasseled hoarfrost,
The clover jewel sown.

Such sparkle, sparkle, sparkle
Fills all the frosty air,
Oh, can it be that darkness
Is ever anywhere!


by Helen Hunt Jackson (1831 – 1885)

The goldenrod is yellow;
The corn is turning brown;
The trees in apple orchards
With fruit are bending down.

The gentian’s bluest fringes
Are curling in the sun;
In dusky pods the milkweed
Its hidden silk has spun.

The sedges flaunt their harvest
In every meadow-nook;
And asters by the brookside
Make asters in the brook.

From dewy lanes at morning
The grapes’ sweet odors rise;
At noon the roads all flutter
With yellow butterflies.

By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather,
And autumn’s best of cheer.

October’s Bright Blue Weather

by Helen Hunt Jackson (1831 – 1885)

O sun and skies and clouds of June
And flowers of June together,
Ye cannot rival for one hour
October’s bright blue weather;

When loud the bumblebee makes haste,
Belated, thriftless vagrant,
And goldenrod is dying fast,
And lanes with grapes are fragrant;

When gentians roll their fringes tight,
To save them for the morning,
And chestnuts fall from satin burs
Without a sound of warning;

When on the ground red apples lie
In piles like jewels shining,
And redder still on old stone walls
Are leaves of woodbine twining;

When all the lovely wayside things
Their white-winged seeds are sowing,
And in the fields, still green and fair,
Late aftermaths are growing;

When springs run low, and on the brooks
In idle, golden freighting,
Bright leaves sink noiseless in the hush
Of woods, for winter waiting;

When comrades seek sweet country haunt
By twos and twos together,
And count like misers hour by hour
October’s bright blue weather.

O sun and skies and flowers of June,
Count all your boasts together,
Love loveth best of all the year
October’s bright blue weather.

The Huskers

by John Greenleaf Whittier (1807 – 1892)

It was late in mild October, and the long autumnal rain
Had left the summer harvest-fields all green with grass again;
The first sharp frosts had fallen, leaving all the woodlands gay
With the hues of summer’s rainbow or the meadow flowers of May.

Through a thin, dry mist, that morning, the sun rose broad and red;
At first a rayless disk of fire, he brightened as he sped;
Yet even his noontide glory fell chastened and subdued
On the cornfields and the orchards and softly pictured wood.

And all that quiet afternoon, slow sloping to the night,
He wove with golden shuttle the haze with yellow light;
Slanting through the tented beeches, he glorified the hill;
And, beneath it, pond and meadow lay brighter, greener still.

And shouting boys in woodland haunts caught glimpses of that sky,
Flecked by the many-tinted leaves, and laughed, they knew not why;
And schoolgirls, gay with aster-flowers, beside the meadow brooks,
Mingled the glow of autumn with the sunshine of sweet looks.

From spire and barn looked westerly the patient weathercocks;
But even the birches on the hill stood motionless as rocks.
No sound was in the woodlands save the squirrel’s dropping shell,
And the yellow leaves among the boughs, low rustling as they fell.

The summer grains were harvested; the stubble-fields lay dry,
Where June winds rolled, in light and shade, the pale green waves of rye;
But still, on gentle hill-slopes, in valleys fringed with wood,
ungathered, bleaching in the sun, the heavy corn crop stood.

Bent low by autumn’s wind and rain, through husks that, dry and sear,
Unfolded from their ripened charge, shone out the yellow ear;
Beneath, the turnip lay concealed in many a verdant fold,
And glistened in the slanting light the pumpkin’s sphere of gold.

There wrought the busy harvester, and many a creaking wain
Bore slowly to the long barn-floor its load of husk and grain;
Till broad and red, as when he rose, the sun sank down at last,
And like a merry guest’s farewell the day in brightness passed.

And lo! as through the western pines, on meadow, stream, and pond,
Flamed the red radiance of a sky set all afire beyond,
Slowly o’er the eastern sea-bluffs a milder glory shone,
And the sunset and the moonrise were mingled into one!

As thus into the quiet night the twilight lapsed away,
And deeper in the brightening moon the tranquil shadows lay,
From many a brown old farmhouse and hamlet without name,
Their milking and their home-tasks done, the merry huskers came.

Swung o’er the heaped-up harvest, from pitchforks in the mow,
Shone dimly down the lanterns on the pleasant scene below,
The glowing pile of husks behind, the golden ears before,
And laughing eyes and busy hands and brown cheeks glimmering o’er.

Half hidden in a quiet nook, serene of look and heart,
Talking their old times over, the old men sat apart;
While up and down the unhusked pile, or nestling in its shade,
At hide-and-seek, with laugh and shout, the happy children played.

Urged by the good host’s daughter, a maiden young and fair,
Lifting to light her sweet blue eyes and pride of soft brown hair,
The master of the village school, sleek of hair and smooth of tongue,
To the quaint tune of some old psalm, a husking-ballad sung.

After Apple-Picking

by Robert Frost (1874–1963)

My long two-pointed ladder’s sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still,
And there’s a barrel that I didn’t fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn’t pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.
I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight
I got from looking through a pane of glass
I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough
And held against the world of hoary grass.
It melted, and I let it fall and break.
But I was well
Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
And I could tell
What form my dreaming was about to take.
Magnified apples appear and disappear,
Stem end and blossom end,
And every fleck of russet showing clear.
My instep arch not only keeps the ache,
It keeps the pressure of a ladder-round.
I feel the ladder sway as the boughs bend.
And I keep hearing from the cellar bin
The rumbling sound
Of load on load of apples coming in.
For I have had too much
Of apple-picking: I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall.
For all
That struck the earth,
No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble,
Went surely to the cider-apple heap
As of no worth.
One can see what will trouble
This sleep of mine, whatever sleep it is.
Were he not gone,
The woodchuck could say whether it’s like his
Long sleep, as I describe its coming on,
Or just some human sleep.

The Migration of the Grey Squirrels

by William Howitt (1792 – 1879)

When in my youth I traveled
Throughout each north country,
Many a strange thing did I hear,
And many a strange thing to see.

But nothing was there pleased me more
Than when, in autumn brown,
I came, in the depths of the pathless woods,
To the grey squirrels’ town.

There were hundreds that in the hollow boles
Of the old, old trees did dwell,
And laid up store, hard by their door,
Of the sweet mast as it fell.

But soon the hungry wild swine came,
And with thievish snouts dug up
Their buried treasure, and left them not
So much as an acorn cup.

Then did they chatter in angry mood,
And one and all decree,
Into the forests of rich stone-pine
Over hill and dale to flee.

Over hill and dale, over hill and dale,
For many a league they went,
Like a troop of undaunted travelers
Governed by one consent.

But the hawk and the eagle, and peering owl,
Did dreadfully pursue;
When lo! to cut off their pilgrimage,
A broad stream lay in view.

But then did each wondrous creature show
His cunning and bravery;
With a piece of the pine-bark in his mouth,
Unto the stream came he;

And boldly his little bark he launched,
Without the least delay;
His busy tail was his upright sail,
And he merrily steered away.

Never was there a lovelier sight
Than that grey squirrels’ fleet;
And with anxious eyes I watched to see
What fortune it would meet.

Soon had they reached the rough mild-stream,
And ever and anon
I grieved to behold some bark wrecked,
And its little steersman gone.

But the main fleet stoutly held across;
I saw them leap to shore;
They entered the woods with a cry of joy,
For their perilous march was o’er.

Other Autumn Poem Resources:

• Leaves by Elsie N. Brady
• A Child’s Calendar (September, October, November) by John Updike
• Gathering Leaves by Robert Frost
• http://www.teachingfirst.net/Poems/Autumn.html

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