Early summer gold

Walking around Taynish woods in the early summer sunshine, I was reminded of these words by the American poet Robert Frost.

The newly-emerged leaves of the oak trees were making the hillside glow with a rich gold.   It won’t last long – every day will see them turn a slightly deeper green, as summer gathers pace – but while it lasts, it is pure magic.

Taynish Woods (2)

“Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.”

Robert Frost


  • David McNaught

    Really miss the changes of the seasons across here, the expectations of early spring through to the pathos of a receding autumn. I always liked this one.. When spring is but a spendthrifts dream, and summers wealth a wasted dower, no dew nor sunshine may redeem, then autumn coins his golden flower. D.

    • Jo Woolf

      Lovely – thank you! Just looked that one up too. Yes, it’s lovely to have the seasons bring so much change – and this year the summer is very welcome!

  • ordinarygood

    One of my favourite poems Jo. My Dad loved it and quoted it to Mum just days before he died in springtime here. They were driving through trees in that tender special stage. We read it at my brother’s funeral too last year because he died so young – no golden years for him sadly.
    I am watching the last of the gold leaves off the flowering cherry tree drop here and this poem always comes to mind.
    Your photo is rich with those subtle tones. Here’s to a great summer for you all!

    • Jo Woolf

      Thank you, Lyn, and I am glad you love it too. It’s full of meaning, I think – I thought it was incredibly sad at first but then realised that there was beauty and truth in it, and wisdom as well. Blessings to you too!

  • Jane

    That is a glorious colour and what a beautiful poem to go with it. Thank you. The natives here don’t put on much of a show in the changing seasons so it is the exotic species which put on a display. Not that we really have 4 distinct seasons here in Queensland. It’s more summer and then a cool winter.

    • Jo Woolf

      Thank you, Jane! Glad you enjoyed it. I have never experienced a climate without four distinct seasons. I think Britain as a whole must be the one of the most weather-obsessed countries – sometimes whole newspaper pages are devoted to a predicted ‘barbecue summer’, and so on! Our spring this year has been cold and windy and so the transition now into summer is happening quite fast.

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