Fruit, Family, Friendship, and Love
in those days had much leisure time...He
read much in those last years in science. When he was not reading
Trowbridge to his grandchildren, it was Huxley to himself. But
when his eyes grew tired, he would on an occasion--if there
was canning in the house--go into the kitchen where my mother
and grandmother worked, and help pare the fruit. Seriously,
as though he were engaged upon a game, he would cut the skin
into thinnest strips, unbroken to the end, and would hold up
the coil for us to see. Or if he broke it in the cutting it
was a point against him in the contest.
- Charles S. Brooks, There's Pippins And Cheese To Come
Your beauty is your life and
And I will liken you to an apple-tree,
Mary and Margaret playing under the branches,
And everywhere soft shadows like your eyes,
And scattered blossom like your little smiles.
- William Kerr, The Apple Tree
To be happy you must have taken
the measure of your powers, tasted the fruits of your passion,
and learned your place in the world.
A grape was
made to grow on a vine
An apple was made to grow on a tree
As sure as there are stars above,
I know, I know
You were made for me
- Sam Cooke, You Were Made for
I ask you for white blossoms.
I offer you memories and people.
I offer you a fire zigzag over the green and marching vines.
I bring a concertina after supper under the home-like apple
I make up songs about things to look at:
--potato blossoms in summer night mist filling the garden with
--a cavalryman’s yellow silk handkerchief stuck in a flannel
pocket over the left side of the shirt, over the ventricles
of blood, over the pumps of the heart.
Bring a concertina after sunset
under the apple trees.
Let romance stutter to the western stars, “Excuse … me…”
- Carl Sandburg, Cornhuskers (1918)
‘How shall my heart be fed
With pleasant apples of love,
When the winter time has fled,
The rain and the winter fled,
How all His gifts shall grace me,
When His Left Hand is under my head,
And His Right Hand doth embrace me.’
- May Probyn, The Beloved
The very room, coz she was in,
Seemed warm f'om floor to ceilin',
An' she looked full ez rosy agin
Ez the apples she was peelin'.
- James Russell Lowell, the Courtin'
The afternoon of summer folds
Its warm arms round the marigolds,
And with its gleaming fingers,
The watered pinks and violets
That from the casement vases
Over the cottage window-sill,
Their fragrance down the garden
Where droop the dry-mouthed hollyhocks.
How vividly the sunshine scrawls
The grape-vine shadows on the walls!
How like a truant swings the
In high boughs of the apple-trees!
The slender "free-stone" lifts
Full languidly above the roof,
A hoard of fruitage, stamped
And precious mintings manifold.
High up, through curled green
leaves, a pear
Hangs hot with ripeness here and there.
Beneath the sagging trellisings,
In lush, lack-lustre clusterings,
Great torpid grapes, all fattened
With moon and sunshine, shade and dew,
Until their swollen girths
But forms of limp deliciousness--
Drugged to an indolence divine
With heaven's own sacramental wine.
-James Whitcomb Riley, A Fruit Piece
Apples in the orchard
Mellowing one by one;
Soft cheeks to the sun;
Roses faint with sweetness,
Lilies fair of face,
Drowsy scents and murmurs
Haunting every place;
Lengths of golden sunshine,
Moonlight bright as day,—
Don't you think that summer's
Pleasanter than May?
- Thomas Bailey Aldrich, Marjorie's Almanac
I am the ancient
As once I was so am I now.
For evermore a hope unseen,
Betwixt the blossom and the bough.
the river's hidden Gold!
And where the windy grave of Troy?
Yet come I as I came of old,
From out the heart of Summer's joy.
- William Morris, Pomona
I love the unfolding beeches
in spring, and the pines in winter; the elms I care for afar
off, like great aloof men, whom I can admire; but for friendly
confidences give me an apple tree in an old green meadow.
- David Grayson, Great Possessions
But what makes
seasonal fruit so scrumptious is that it is part of a rhythm,
a rhythm that allows you access to it only once a year. And,
let's face it, it's the 11 months of not having fresh strawberries
that make fresh strawberries so inviting.
Bob Welch, The Register Guard, Eugene, Oregon ("Lazy days
full of anticipation," June 25, 2002)
Here I am, on the west
bank of the Hudson, 80 miles north of New York, near Esopus,
at the handsome, roomy, honeysuckly-and-rose-embower’d cottage
of John Burroughs. The place, the perfect June days and nights,
(leaning toward crisp and cool,) the hospitality of J. and Mrs.
B., the air, the fruit, (especially my favorite dish, currants
and raspberries, mixed, sugar’d, fresh and ripe from the bushes—I
pick ’em myself)—the room I occupy at night, the perfect bed,
the window giving an ample view of the Hudson and the opposite
shores, so wonderful toward sunset, and the rolling music of
the RR. trains, far over there—the peaceful rest—the early Venus-heralded
dawn—the noiseless splash of sunrise, the light and warmth indescribably
glorious, in which, (soon as the sun is well up,) I have a capital
rubbing and rasping with the flesh-brush—with an extra scour
on the back by Al. J., who is here with us—all inspiriting my
invalid frame with new life, for the day. Then, after some whiffs
of morning air, the delicious coffee of Mrs. B., with the cream,
strawberries, and many substantials, for breakfast.
- Walt Whitman, Happiness and Raspberries,
June 21 (1892)
It being a mild and sunny day,
the door of the fruit cellar was open, and as I came around
the corner I had such of whiff of fragrance as I cannot describe.
It seemed as though the vials of the earth's most precious odours
had been broken there in Horace's yard! The smell of ripe apples!
In the dusky depths of the
cellar, down three steps, I could see Horace's ruddy face.
"How are ye, David," said he.
"Will ye have a Good Apple?" So he gave me a good apple.
It was a yellow Bellflower
without a blemish, and very large and smooth. The body of it
was waxy yellow, but on the side where the sun had touched it,
it blushed a delicious deep red. Since October it had been in
the dark, cool storage-room, and Horace, like some old monkish
connoisseur of wines who knows just when to bring up the bottles
of a certain vintage, had chosen the exact moment in all the
year when the vintage of the Bellflower was at its best. As
he passed it to me I caught, a scent as of old crushed apple
blossoms, or fancied I did or it may have been the still finer
aroma of friendship which passed at the touching of our fingers.
It was a hand-filling apple
and likewise good for tired eyes, an antidote for winter, a
remedy for sick souls.
"A wonderful apple!" I said
to Horace, holding it off at arm's length.
"No better grown anywhere,"
said he, with scarcely restrained pride.
I took my delight of it more
nearly; and the odour was like new-cut clover in an old orchard,
or strawberry leaves freshly trod upon, or the smell of peach
wood at the summer pruning--how shall one describe it? at least
a compound or essence of all the good odours of summer.
"Shall I eat it?" I asked myself,
for I thought such a perfection of nature should be preserved
for the blessing of mankind. As I hesitated, Horace remarked:
"It was grown to be eaten."
So I bit into it, a big liberal
mouthful, which came away with a rending sound such as one hears
sometimes in a winter's ice-pond. The flesh within, all dewy
with moisture, was like new cream, except a rim near the surface
where the skin had been broken; here it was of a clear, deep
New odours came forth and I
knew for the first time how perfect in deliciousness such an
apple could be. A mild, serene, ripe, rich bouquet, compounded
essence of the sunshine from these old Massachusetts hills,
of moisture drawn from our grudging soil, of all the peculiar
virtues of a land where the summers make up in the passion of
growth for the long violence of winter; the compensatory aroma
of a life triumphant, though hedged about by severity, was in
the bouquet of this perfect Bellflower
. Like some of the finest of
wines and the warmest of friends it was of two flavours, and
was not to be eaten for mere nourishment, but was to be tasted
and enjoyed. The first of the flavours came readily in a sweetness,
richness, a slight acidity, that it might not cloy; but the
deeper, more delicate flavour came later--if one were not crudely
impatient--and was, indeed, the very soul of the fruit. One
does not quickly arrive at souls either in apples or in friends.
And I said to Horace with solemnity, for this was an occasion
not to be lightly treated:
"I have never in my life tasted
a fine apple."
"There is no finer apple,"
said Horace with conviction.
- David Grayson, Great Possessions
Spring Orchard Blossoms
Blossom of the apple trees!
Mossy trunks all gnarled and hoary,
Grey boughs tipped with rose-veined glory,
Clustered petals soft as fleece
Garlanding old apple trees!
How you gleam at break of day!
When the coy sun, glancing rarely,
Pouts and sparkles in the pearly
Pendulous dewdrops, twinkling gay
On each dancing leaf and spray.
Through your latticed boughs
Framed in rosy wreaths, one catches
Brief kaleidoscopic snatches
Of deep lapis-lazuli
In the April-coloured sky.
When the sundown's dying brand
Leaves your beauty to the tender
Magic spells of moonlight splendour,
Glimmering clouds of bloom you stand,
Turning earth to fairyland.
Cease, wild winds,
O, cease to blow!
Apple-blossom, fluttering, flying,
Palely on the green turf lying,
Vanishing like winter snow;
Swift as joy to come and go.
- Apple-Blossom, by Mathilde Blind
Look around you, look around!
Flowers in all the fields abound,
Every running stream is bright,
All the orchard trees are white,
And each small and waving shoot
Promises sweet autumn fruit.
- The Voice of Spring, Mary Howitt
You have flayed us
With your blossoms,
Spare us the beauty
- Orchard, H.D.
O my grey hairs!
You are truly white as plum blossoms.
- William Carlos Williams, Spring
Light are the petals that fall
from the bough,
And lighter the love that I offer you now;
In a spring day shall the tale be told
Of the beautiful things that will never grow old.
- Anna Wickham, The Cherry-Blossom Wand
The narrow bud opens her beauties
The sun, and love runs in her thrilling veins;
Blossoms hang round the brows of Morning, and
Flourish down the bright cheek of modest Eve,
Till clust'ring Summer breaks forth into singing,
And feather'd clouds strew flowers round her head.
- William Blake
Spring, the sweet Spring, is
the year's pleasant king;
Then blooms each thing, then maids dance in a ring,
Cold doth not sting, the pretty birds do sing,
Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!
- Spring by Thomas Nashe from Summer's Last Will and Testament,
The promise of these fragrant
The fruit that ’neath these blossoms lies
Once hung, they say, in Eden’s bowers,
And tempted Eve in Paradise.
O fairest daughter of Eve’s
Lest her misprision thine should be,
I ’ve nipped temptation in the bud
And send this snowy spray to thee.
- Walter Learned's With a Spray of Apple Blossoms
Apple blossoms swing and sway,
In the merry month of May.
All the fairy folks are gay,
’Tis the merry month of May.
In the trees the birdies call,
Apple blossoms softly fall,
Here the robin sweetly say
’Tis the merry month of May.
Fine fruit is the
flower of commodities. It is the most perfect union of
the useful and the beautiful that the earth knows. Trees full
of soft foliage; blossoms fresh with spring bounty; and, finally,
fruit, rich, bloom-dusted, melting, and luscious.
- Andrew Jackson Downing (including a brief quote from acute
essayist, Ralph Waldo Emersons Essay XIII Gifts
things grow fair against the sun,
Yet fruits that blossom first will first be ripe.
- William Shakespeare, Othello the
Moor of Venice
plant we in this apple tree?
Sweets for a hundred flowery springs
To load the May-wind's restless wings,
When, from the orchard-row, he pours
Its fragrance through our open doors;
A world of blossoms for the bee,
Flowers for the sick girl's silent room,
For the glad infant sprigs of bloom,
We plant with the apple tree.
- William Cullen Bryant, The Planting
of the Apple Tree
Oh, give us pleasure in the
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.
Oh, give us pleasure in the
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.
- Robert Frost, from A Prayer In Spring
Beneath these fruit-tree boughs
Their snow-white blossoms on my head,
With brightest sunshine round me spread
Of Spring's unclouded weather,
In this sequester'd nook how
To sit upon my orchard-seat,
And flowers and birds once more to greet,
My last year's friends together.
- William Wordsworth, from The Green Linnett
orchard--where Dolly was stung by the bee--was set on a fine breezy
place at the brow of the hill with the valley in full sight. The
trees themselves were old and decayed, but they were gnarled and
crotched for easy climbing. And the apples--in particular a russet--mounted
to a delicacy. On the other side of the valley, a half mile off
as a bird would fly, were the buildings of a convent, and if you
waited you might hear the twilight bell. To this day all distant
bells come to my ears with a pleasing softness, as though they
had been cast in a quieter world. Stone arrow-heads were found
in a near-by field as often as the farmer turned up the soil in
plowing. And because of this, a long finger of land that put off
to the valley, was called Indian Point. Here, with an arm for
pillow, one might lie for a long hour on a sunny morning and watch
the shadows of clouds move across the lowland. A rooster crows
somewhere far off--surely of all sounds the drowsiest. A horse
in a field below lifts up its head and neighs. The leaves practice
a sleepy tune. If one has the fortune to keep awake, here he may
lie and think the thoughts that are born of sun and wind.
- Charles S. Brooks, There's Pippins And Cheese To Come
A little hint dropped there or here,
Is like a seed in spring of year;
It sprouts and grows, and none may say
How big 'twill be some future day.
- Thornton W. Burgess, Bowser the Hound
I do not think that skies and meadows are
Moral, or that the fixture of a star
Comes of a quiet spirit, or that trees
Have wisdom in their windless silences.
Yet these are things invested in my mood
With constancy, and peace, and fortitude,
That in my troubled season I can cry
Upon the wide composure of the sky,
And envy fields, and wish that I might be
As little daunted as a star or tree.
- John Drinkwater, "Reciprocity," Georgian Poetry 1916-17,
Edited by Sir Edward Howard Marsh
Thought is the blossom,
language the bud,
action the fruit behind.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Fruit, as it was our primitive,
and most excellent as well as
most innocent food,
whilst it grew in Paradise;
a climate so benign,
and a soil so richly impregnated
with all that the influence of Heaven
could communicate to it;
so it has still preserved,
and retained no small tincture
of its original and celestial virtue.
- John Evelyn, "Compleat Gard'ner," 1693.
Truth is a fruit that can only be picked when
it is very ripe.
just like the sweet apple reddening at the highest
and missed by the apple pickers -
They did not miss you!
They just couldn't reach so high.
- Sappho, Sweet Apple (Translated by
Don't pluck a green apple;
When it is ripe it will fall itself.
- Russian Proverb
What can your eyes desire to see, your ears
to hear, your mouth to taste, your nose to smell that is not to
be had in an orchard, with abundance of variety.
- William Lawson
Its the action, not the fruit of the
action, thats important. You have to do the right thing.
It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that therell
be any fruit. But that doesnt mean you stop doing the right
thing. You may never know what results come from your action.
Love is a fruit in season at all times, and
within reach of every hand. - Mother Teresa
I think that if you shake the tree, you ought
to be around when the fruit falls to pick it up.
- Mary Cassatt
Do not be afraid to go out on a limb. . .Thats
where the fruit is.
Character is like a tree and reputation like
its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the
- Abraham Lincoln
if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would
still plant my apple tree.
- Martin Luther
We are born believing. A man bears beliefs,
as a tree bears apples.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
The things we now esteem fixed shall, one by
one, detach themselves, like ripe fruit, from our experience,
and fall . . . The soul looketh steadily forwards, creating a
world before her, leaving worlds behind her.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Fruits are acceptable gifts, because they are
the flower of commodities, and admit of fantastic values being
attached to them. If a man should send to me to come a hundred
miles to visit him, and should set before me a basket of fine
summer-fruit, I should think there was some proportion between
the labor and the reward.
Waldo Emerson, “Gifts,” Essays, Second Series (1844).
Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship
is a slow-ripening fruit.
Do a little more of that work which you have
sometimes confessed to be good, which you feel that society and
your justest judge rightly demands of you. Do what you reprove
yourself for not doing. Know that you are neither satisfied nor
dissatisfied with yourself without reason. Let me say to you and
to myself in one breath, Cultivate the tree which you have found
to bear fruit in your soil.
- Henry David Thoreau
The best of all physicians
Is apple pie and cheese!
- Eugene Field, Apple Pie and Cheese
But when I undress me
Each night upon my knees
Will ask the Lord to bless me
with apple pie and cheese!
- Eugene Field, Apple
Pie and Cheese
How many times it thundered before Franklin
took the hint! How many apples fell on Newton's head before he
took the hint! Nature is always hinting at us. It hints over and
over again. And suddenly we take the hint.
- Robert Frost, Comment
I had a little nut tree, nothing would it bear
But a silver nutmeg and a golden pear;
The king of Spain's daughter came to visit me,
And all for the sake of my little nut tree.
- Anonymous: Nursery Rhymes
An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
- J.T. Stinson
Fruit and Literature
Shakspeare, Homer, Dante, Chaucer, saw the
splendor of meaning that plays over the visible world; knew that
a tree had another use than for apples, and corn another than
for meal, and the ball of the earth, than for tillage and roads:
that these things bore a second and finer harvest to the mind,
being emblems of its thoughts, and conveying in all their natural
history a certain mute commentary on human life.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Shakspeare; or,
Gentle, here. Her heart is being peeled like
a piece of fruit. - William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night
the hall, and close upon the gate,
A goodly orchard-ground was situate,
Of near ten acres; about which was led
A lofty quickset. In it flourished
High and broad fruit trees, that pomegranates bore,
Sweet figs, pears, olives; and a number more
Most useful plants did there produce their store,
Whose fruits the hardest winter could not kill,
Nor hottest summer wither.
There was still
Fruit in his proper season all the year.
The Odyssey, Seventh Book (George Chapman Translation)
The next variation which their visit afforded
was produced by the entrance of servants with cold meat, cake,
and a variety of all the finest fruits in season; but this did
not take place till after many a significant look and smile from
Mrs. Annesley to Miss Darcy had been given, to remind her of her
post. There was now employment for the whole party; for though
they could not all talk, they could all eat; and the beautiful
pyramids of grapes, nectarines, and peaches, soon collected them
round the table.
Austen, Pride and Prejudice, Chapter XLV.
Two apples a penny! Two for a penny! His gaze
passed over the glazed apples serried on her stand. Australians
they must be this time of year. Shiny peels: polishes them up
with a rag or a handkerchief.
- James Joyce, Ulysses
Apple plum, carpet steak, seed clam, colored wine, calm seen,
cold cream, best shake, potato, potato and no no gold work with
pet, a green seen is called bake and change sweet is bready, a
little piece a little piece please. A little piece please. Cane
again to the presupposed and ready eucalyptus tree, count out
sherry and ripe plates and little corners of a kind of ham. This
- Gertrude Stein, Tender Buttons
Fruit and Poetry
By the lamplit stall I loitered, feasting
On colours ripe and rich for the heart's desire—
Tomatoes, redder than Krakatoa's fire,
Oranges like old sunsets over Tyre,
And apples golden-green as the glades of Paradise.
- Wilfrid Wilson Gibson, Sight
What wondrous life is this I lead!
Ripe apples drop about my head;
The luscious clusters of the vine
Upon my mouth do crush their wine;
The nectarine and curious peach
Into my hands themselves do reach;
Stumbling on melons, as I pass,
Ensnared with flowers, I fall on grass.
- Andrew Marvell, Thoughts in a Garden
A poem should be palpable and mute
As a globed fruit,
As old medallions to the thumb.
- Archibald MacLeish, Ars Poetica
Yet poetry, though the last and finest result,
is a natural fruit. As naturally as the oak bears an acorn, and
the vine a gourd, man bears a poem, either spoken or done. It
is the chief and most memorable success, for history is but a
prose narrative of poetic deeds.
- Henry David Thoreau, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack
This apple of life, and cut it through the pips,—
The perfect round which fitted Venus’ hand
Has perished as utterly as if we ate
Both halves. Without the spiritual, observe,
The natural’s impossible,—no form,
No motion: without sensuous, spiritual
Is inappreciable,—no beauty or power. . .
Barrett Browning, Aurora Leigh
What is the price?
Eight for a dollar, and all very nice.
The Little Mother Goose
Roses, roses, roses, buy, buy,
Why delay, why delay, roses also die.
Pink and yellow, blood-red, snow-white,
Roses for dayspring, roses for night!
Buy, buy, oh my roses buy!
A kiss for a kiss, and a sigh for a sigh!
Sharp, Spanish Roses
Lavender, sweet lavender,
Who will buy my sweet blooming lavender?
Buy it once, you'll buy it twice,
And make your clothes sweet and nice!
- One of the old cries of London town as noted in Robert Cortes
Holliday's Walking-Stick Papers
Cherries ripe all ripe,
round and sound ripe cherries,
fine Duke Cherries,
....only five-pence a pound cherries ripe,
Cherries ripe all ripe...Cherries O!
Fine China Oranges,
Sweet Juicy Oranges,
fine Lemons fine,
Buy my sweet oranges,
Fine juicy oranges.
Come buy my fine wares,
Plums, apples and pears.
A hundred a penny,
In conscience too many:
Come, will you have any?
My children are seven,
I wish them in Heaven;
My husband’s a sot,
With his pipe and his pot,
Not a farthen will gain them,
And I must maintain them.
- Jonathan Swift, Market Women’s Cries
Market Cries - A Three Part Round
Who will buy my roses?
Who will buy my po-o-sies?
Who will buy my lilies?
Taste and try before you buy, fine ripe pears!
Taste and try before you buy, fine ripe pears!
Clothes, clothes, any old clothes
or hare-skins, rabbit-skins, any old clothes!
- Source: Unknown
ROSE-SELLER: Who will buy my sweet
Two blooms for a penny.
Who will buy my sweet red roses?
Two blooms for a penny.
MILKMAID: Will you buy any milk
Any milk today, mistress?
STRAWBERRY-SELLER: Ripe strawberries,
Ripe strawberries, ripe!
Lyrics from the Musical, Oliver
Ripe Strawberries ripe,
Ripe Strawberries ripe.
Six-pence a pottle
fine strawberries ripe strawberries...
only six-pence a pottle...
I have ripe Strawberries ripe,
Ripe Strawberries ripe.
Oh, they's so fresh an' fine,
an' they's jus' off the vine. Straw-ber-ry! Staw-ber-ry!
- Lyrics from Porgy and Bess
TO MEND!" By Alexander Wainwright
The art of doing small things
well has a good illustration in the humble chair-mender of the
London streets, who is also one of the most interesting of out-door
He carries all his implements
and materials with him. A very much worn chair is thrown over
one arm as an advertisement of his occupation, and it is needed,
for his cry, "Cha–ir–s to men–n–nd," is uttered in a melancholy
and indistinct, though penetrating, tone. Under the other arm
he usually has a bundle of cane, split into narrow ribbons. -
St. Nicholas Magazine for Boys and Girls, Vol. 5, October 1878,
The apple is the commonest and
yet the most varied and beautiful of fruits. A dish of them is
as becoming to the centre-table in winter as was the vase of flowers
in the summer,--a bouquet of spitzenburgs and greenings and northern
spies. A rose when it blooms, the apple is a rose when it ripens.
It pleases every sense to which it can be addressed, the touch,
the smell, the sight, the taste; and when it falls, in the still
October days, it pleases the ear. It is a call to a banquet, it
is a signal that the feast is ready. The bough would fain hold
it, but it can now assert its independence; it can now live a
life of its own.
- VOLUME II WINTER SUNSHINE (1875) by John Burroughs
Bright yellow, red, and orange,
The leaves come down in hosts;
The trees are Indian princes,
But soon they'll turn to ghosts;
The scanty pears and apples
Hang russet on the bough;
It's autumn, autumn, autumn late,
'Twill soon be winter now.
Robin, Robin Redbreast,
O Robin dear!
And what will this poor Robin do?
For pinching days are near.
- William Allingham, Robin Redbreast
is greater relish for the earliest fruit of the season.
Marcus Valerius Martialis, Roman poet (38-103 A.D.)
The gilding of the Indian summer
mellowed the pastures far and wide. The russet woods stood ripe
to be stript, but were yet full of leaf. The purple of heath-bloom,
faded but not withered, tinged the hills...Fieldhead gardens bore
the seal of gentle decay; ...its time of flowers and even of fruit
- Charlotte Brontë, Shirley
Apple trees, on the other hand,
grow old without reproach. Let them live as long as they may,
and contort themselves into whatever perversity of shape they
please, and deck their withered limbs with a springtime gaudiness
of pink blossoms, still they are respectable, even if they afford
us only an apple or two in a season. Those few apples—or, at all
events, the remembrance of apples in bygone years—are the atonement
which utilitarianism inexorably demands for the privilege of lengthened
life. Human flower shrubs, if they will grow old on earth, should,
besides their lovely blossoms, bear some kind of fruit that will
satisfy earthly appetites, else neither man nor the decorum of
nature will deem it fit that the moss should gather on them.
- Nathaniel Hawthorne, Buds and Bird-voices
As Ichabod jogged slowly on his
way, his eye, ever open to every symptom of culinary abundance,
ranged with delight over the treasures of jolly autumn. On all
sides he beheld vast store of apples; some hanging in oppressive
opulence on the trees; some gathered into baskets and barrels
for the market; others heaped up in rich piles for the cider-press.
Farther on he beheld great fields of Indian corn, with its golden
ears peeping from their leafy coverts, and holding out the promise
of cakes and hasty pudding; and the yellow pumpkins lying beneath
them, turning up their fair round bellies to the sun, and giving
ample prospects of the most luxurious of pies; and anon he passed
the fragrant buckwheat fields, breathing the odor of the beehive,
and as he beheld them, soft anticipations stole over his mind
of dainty slapjacks, well buttered, and garnished with honey or
treacle, by the delicate little dimpled hand of Katrina Van Tassel.
- Washington Irving, Rip Van Winkle & The Legend of Sleepy
appreciate the wild and sharp flavors of these October fruits,
it is necessary that you be breathing the sharp October or November
air. What is sour in the house a bracing walk makes sweet. Some
of these apples might be labeled, To be eaten in the wind.
It takes a savage or wild taste to appreciate a wild fruit. .
. The era of the Wild Apple will soon be past. It is a fruit which
will probably become extinct in New England. I fear that he who
walks over these fields a century hence will not know the pleasure
of knocking off wild apples. Ah, poor soul, there are many pleasures
which you will not know! . . . the end of it all will be that
we shall be compelled to look for our apples in a barrel.
- Henry David Thoreau (More
Quotes by Henry D. Thoreau)
She had only to stand in the orchard, to put
her hand on a little crab tree and look up at the apples, to make
you feel the goodness of planting and tending and harvesting at
- Willa Cather
Look on yonder earth:
The golden harvests spring;
the unfailing sun Sheds light and life;
the fruits, the flowers, the trees,
Arise in due succession;
all things speak Peace, harmony and love.
Mab: A Philosophical Poem. With Notes.
With russet wood-fruit thick upon the ground,
'Mid crumpled ferns and delicate blue harebells.
The orchard-apples rolled in seedy grass--
Apples of gold, and violet-velvet plums;
And all the tangled hedgerows bore a crop
Of scarlet hips, blue sloes, and blackberries,
And orange clusters of the mountain ash.
- Ada Cambridge, A Story at Dusk, from The Manor
House and Other Poems (1875)
"The spirits of the air live on the smells
Of fruit; and Joy, with pinions light, roves round
The gardens, or sits singing in the trees."
Thus sang the jolly Autumn as he sat;
Then rose, girded himself, and o'er the bleak
Hills fled from our sight; but left his golden load.
- William Blake, Autumn
Of no distemper, of no blast he died,
But fell like autumn fruit that mellow’d long,—
Even wonder’d at, because he dropp’d no sooner.
Fate seem’d to wind him up for fourscore years,
Yet freshly ran he on ten winters more;
Till like a clock worn out with eating time,
The wheels of weary life at last stood still.
- John Dryden, Oedipus
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the mossd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core. . .
Keats, Ode to Autumn
Lo! sweeten’d with the summer light,
The full-juiced apple, waxing over-mellow,
Drops in a silent autumn night.
All its allotted length of days
The flower ripens in its place,
Ripens and fades, and falls, and hath no toil,
Fast-rooted in the fruitful soil.
Lord Tennyson, The Lotos-Eaters
It was a peaceful autumn day. The gilding of
the Indian summer mellowed the pastures far and wide. The russet
woods stood ripe to be stript, but were yet full of leaf. The
purple of heath-bloom, faded but not withered, tinged the hills.
The beck wandered down to the Hollow, through a silent district;
no wind followed its course, or haunted its woody borders. Fieldhead
gardens bore the seal of gentle decay. On the walks, swept that
morning, yellow leaves had fluttered down again. Its time of flowers,
and even of fruits, was over, but a scantling of apples enriched
the trees; only a blossom here and there expanded pale and delicate
amidst a knot of faded leaves.
- The Bronte Sisters, Shirley
Falltime and winter apples take on the smolder
of the five-o’clock November sunset: falltime, leaves, bonfires,
stubble, the old things go, and the earth is grizzled. The land
and the people hold memories, even among the anthills and the
angleworms, among the toads and woodroaches—among gravestone writings
rubbed out by the rain—they keep old things that never grow old.
- Carl Sandburg (1878–1967), Cornhuskers
Winter Season - Thoughts of Trees, Sleep and Pastoral Fruits
The apple is indeed the fruit
of youth. As we grow old we crave apples less. It is an ominous
sign. When you are ashamed to be seen eating them on the street;
when you can carry them in your pocket and your hand not constantly
find its way to them; when your neighbor has apples and you have
none, and you make no nocturnal visits to his orchard; when your
lunch-basket is without them, and you can pass a winter's night
by the fireside with not thought of the fruit at your elbow,--then
be assured you are no longer a boy, either in heart or in years.
- "THE WRITINGS OF JOHN BURROUGHS
WITH PORTRAITS AND MANY ILLUSTRATIONS," Chapter VII. THE
APPLE from VOLUME II WINTER SUNSHINE
Midst bitten mead and acre shorn,
The world without is waste and worn,
But here within our orchard-close,
The guerdon of its labour shows.
O valiant Earth, O happy year
That mocks the threat of winter near,
And hangs aloft from tree to tree
The banners of the Spring to be.
- William Morris, The Orchard
All the complicated details
of the attiring and
the disattiring are completed!
A liquid moon
moves gently among
the long branches.
Thus having prepared their buds
against a sure winter
the wise trees
stand sleeping in the cold.
- William Carlos Williams, Winter Trees
He comes, - he comes, - the Frost
You may trace his footsteps now
On the naked woods and the blasted fields
And the brown hill's withered brow.
He has smitten the leaves of the gray old trees
Where their pleasant green came forth,
And the winds, which follow wherever he goes,
Have shaken them down to earth.
- John Greenleaf Whittier, The Frost Spirit
I love those skies, thin blue
or snowy gray,
Those fields sparse-planted, rendering meager sheaves;
That spring, briefer than apple-blossom's breath,
Summer, so much too beautiful to stay,
Swift autumn, like a bonfire of leaves,
And sleepy winter, like the sleep of death.
- Elinor Wylie, Wild Peaches from Nets to Catch the Wind
During the month of December 1820,
I accompanied a much-beloved and honoured Friend in a walk through
different parts of his estate, with a view to fix upon the site
of a new Church which he intended to erect. It was one of the
most beautiful mornings of a mild season,--our feelings were in
harmony with the cherishing influences of the scene; and such
being our purpose, we were naturally led to look back upon past
events with wonder and gratitude, and on the future with hope.
Not long afterwards, some of the Sonnets which will be found towards
the close of this series were produced as a private memorial of
that morning's occupation.
- William Wordsworth, Rydal Mount, January 24, 1822 (Notes on
Primitive Saxon Clergy
How beautiful your presence, how benign,
Servants of God! who not a thought will share
With the vain world; who, outwardly as bare
As winter trees, yield no fallacious sign
That the firm soul is clothed with fruit divine!
Such Priest, when service worthy of his care
Has called him forth to breathe the common air,
Might seem a saintly Image from its shrine
Descended:--happy are the eyes that meet
The Apparition; evil thoughts are stayed
At his approach, and low-bowed necks entreat
A benediction from his voice or hand;
Whence grace, through which the heart can understand,
And vows, that bind the will, in silence made.
- William Wordsworth, Ecclesiastical Sonnets in Series, 1821-22
(XIX), The Complete Poetical Works, (London, MacMillan, 1888)
'Tis education forms the common
Just as the twig is bent, the tree's inclined.
- Alexander Pope