I've always loved November. It's a quiet month -- melancholy and restful, a month to turn inwards, to light fires and read and think. The Celts celebrated their new year now, on the cusp of winter -- the end of the light half of the year and the start of the dark half.
Maybe it's because I was born in November that I feel an affinity for its sombreness and severity, the clear chill of the wind and the spare beauty of the season. The gaudy leaves and skies of October are gone and the colour palette has narrowed to blacks and browns and white. Beauty is still there, but changed, and you have to look for it.
November's sky is chill and drear,
November's leaf is red and sear.
-Sir Walter Scott, Marmion, canto 1, introduction
The bleak November winds, and smote the woods,
And the brown fields were herbless, and the shades
That met above the merry rivulet
Were spoiled, I sought, I loved them still; they seemed
Like old companions in adversity.
- William Cullen Bryant, A Winter Piece
The dusky waters shudder as they shine,
The russet leaves obstruct the straggling way
Of oozy brooks, which no deep banks define,
And the gaunt woods, in ragged scant array,
Wrap their old limbs with sombre ivy twine.
- Hartley Coleridge, November
My sorrow when she's here with me,
Thinks these dark days of autumn rain
Are beautiful as days can be;
She loves the bare, the withered tree;
She walks the sodden pasture lane.
- Robert Lee Frost, My November Guest
The dead leaves their rich mosaics
Of olive and gold and brown
Had laid on the rain-wet pavements,
Through all the embowered town.
- Samuel Longfellow, November
The wild November come at last
Beneath a veil of rain;
The night winds blows its folds aside,
Her face is full of pain.
The latest of her race, she takes
The Autumn's vacant throne:
She has but one short moon to live,
And she must live alone.
- Richard Henry Stoddard, November
Wrapped in his sad-colored cloak, the Day, like a Puritan, standeth
Stern in the joyless fields, rebuking the lingering color,--
Dying hectic of leaves and the chilly blue of the asters,--
Hearing, perchance, the croak of a crow on the desolate tree-top.
- Bayard Taylor, Home Pastorals--November