Harvest Home

Harvest Home

This week, we turn from baseball to the changing seasons with “The Garden Year” by Sara Coleridge.

August brings the sheaves of corn,
Then the harvest home is borne.

Sara Coleridge (1802—1852)

Poem 228. The Garden Year

January brings the snow,
Makes our feet and fingers glow.
February brings the rain,
Thaws the frozen lake again.
March brings breezes, loud and shrill,
To stir the dancing daffodil.
April brings the primrose sweet,
Scatters daisies at our feet.
May brings flocks of pretty lambs
Skipping by their fleecy dams.
June brings tulips, lilies, roses,
Fills the children's hands with posies.
Hot July brings cooling showers,
Apricots, and gillyflowers.
August brings the sheaves of corn,
Then the harvest home is borne.
Warm September brings the fruit;
Sportsmen then begin to shoot.
Fresh October brings the pheasant;
Then to gather nuts is pleasant.
Dull November brings the blast;
Then the leaves are whirling fast.
Chill December brings the sleet,
Blazing fire, and Christmas treat.

This is a very simple poem written by the daughter of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and it goes through the months of the year, identifying the characteristic changes in nature associated with each. I have always thought it was a nursery rhyme (it is, of course) and assumed its author to be anonymous. I found the real facts in a new book of poetry given to me for my birthday this week by my eldest stepson David and his partner Hannah—thank you both!

Sara Coleridge died of breast cancer in 1852, having found a lump in her breast two years previously. In a reference to her father’s famous poem, she said “I live in constant fear, like the Ancient Mariner with the Albatross hung about his neck, I have a weight always upon me.” Her sufferings must have been quite profound, her physician prescribing the sovereign remedies of cod liver oil (?) and opium.

Flanders and Swann performed their own interpretation of the poem as “A Song of the Weather” so this choice reminds me also of their gentle brand of humour and the pleasure I have always taken in listening to them.


  • Listen to Flanders and Swann sing “A Song of the Weather” on YouTube.