Come flying from elsewhere:
Autumn is ending.
Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902) (translated by R. H. Blyth), in R. H. Blyth, Haiku, Volume 3: Summer-Autumn (Hokuseido Press 1952), page 355.
Yet no "Alas!" is called for. Unannounced and unexpected, gifts are always arriving "from elsewhere," be it autumn, winter, spring, or summer. Nothing is to be regretted or mourned. "Earth never grieves!"
Onto the rain porch
from somewhere outside it comes —
a fallen petal.
Takahama Kyoshi (1874-1959) (translated by Steven Carter), in Steven Carter, Traditional Japanese Poetry: An Anthology (Stanford University Press 1991), page 443.
Edward Waite (1854-1924)
"The Mellow Year Is Hastening To Its Close" (1896)
As the solstice approaches, my afternoon walks have become twilight walks. All is quiet and dark within the groves of pine trees, save for occasional twitters, or brief songs, from far off in the shadows. Now and then a solitary crow flies overhead, sometimes silent, sometimes cawing. The immemorial solitary crow of autumn.
An autumn evening;
Without a cry,
A crow passes.
Kishū (1743-1802) (translated by R. H. Blyth) in R. H. Blyth, Haiku, Volume 3: Summer-Autumn, page 345.
At some point in the season, one feels the melancholy pull of decline. The bittersweet wistfulness and wistful bittersweetness of early autumn and high autumn are long gone, irrecoverable. Funereal but tempting, the late autumn emptiness and darkness beckon.
Dirge in Woods
A wind sways the pines,
Not a breath of wild air;
Still as the mosses that glow
On the flooring and over the lines
Of the roots here and there.
The pine-tree drops its dead;
They are quiet, as under the sea.
Rushes life in a race,
As the clouds the clouds chase;
And we go,
And we drop like the fruits of the tree,
George Meredith, A Reading of Earth (Macmillan 1888).
Edward Waite, "Autumn Colouring" (1894)
But there shall be no dirges as autumn fades. As ever in the World of beautiful particulars, departures are followed by arrivals, there is no loss without an attendant gain. One afternoon this week it seemed for a moment that the long tree shadows laid across the bright green grass of a meadow were the essence of loss and sorrow. Until one saw the trunks and empty branches of the trees, which had suddenly turned gold in the angled sunlight -- each and every twig glittering, aflame.
The Last Leaf
I saw how rows of white raindrops
From bare boughs shone,
And how the storm had stript the leaves
Save one left high on a top twig
Then that too bursting into song
Fled and was gone.
Andrew Young, in Edward Lowbury and Alison Young (editors), The Poetical Works of Andrew Young (Secker & Warburg 1985).
Yes, gifts never cease to arrive from elsewhere.
Leaning against the tree,
Branches and leaves are few:
A night of stars.
Masaoka Shiki (translated by R. H. Blyth), in R. H. Blyth, Haiku, Volume 3: Summer-Autumn, page 365.
Edward Waite, "Fall of the Year"