A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from September 01, 2018
“Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile”

“Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile” is a saying that has been printed on many images. The poem “The Indian Summer,” by American poet John Howard Bryant (1807-1902), begins “That soft, autumnal time,” and continues:
“The year’s last, loveliest smile,
Thou com’st to fill with hope the human heart,
And strengthen it to bear the storms awhile,
Till winter’s frowns depart.”

It’s not known when Bryant first wrote “The Indian Summer,” but it was included in the book The Poets and Poetry of America (Third Edition, 1843) by Rufus Wilmot Griswold.
Authorship is often credited—incorrectly—to John Howard Bryant’s brother, William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878), who was an American romantic poet, journalist, and long-time editor of the New York (NY) Evening Post.
“Autumn leaves a smile on my face” (usually shown with autumn leaves) is a related saying.
Google Books
The Poets and Poetry of America
Third Edition

By Rufus Wilmot Griswold
Philadelphia, PA: Carey and Hart
Pg. 294:
[Born, 1807.]
JOHN HOWARD BRYANT was born in Cummington, Massachusetts, on the twenty-second day of July, 1807. His youth was passed principally in rural occupations, and in attending the district and other schools, until he was nineteen years of age, when he began to study the Latin language, with a view of entering one of the colleges. In 1826, he wrote the first poem of which he retained any copy. This was entitled “My Native Village,” and first appeared in the “United States Review and Literary Gazette,” a periodical published simultaneously at New York and Boston, of which his brother, WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT, was one of the editors.
Pg. 296:
THAT soft, autumnal time
Is come, that shed, upon the naked scene,
Charms only known in this our northern clime—
Bright seasons, far between.
The woodland foliage now
Is gather’d by the wild November blast;
L’en the thick leaves upon the poplar’s bough
Are fallen, to the last.
The mighty vines, that round
The forest trunks their slender branches bind,
Their crimson foliage shaken to the ground,
Swing naked in the wind.
Some living green remains
By the clear brook that shines along the lawn;
But the sear grass stands white o’er all the plains,
And the bright flowers are gone.
But these, these are thy charms—
Mild airs, and tempered light upon the lea,
And the year holds no time within his arms,
That doth resemble thee.
The sunny noon is thine,
Soft, golden, noiseless as the dead of night;
And hues that in the flush’d horizon shine
At eve and early light.
The year’s last, loveliest smile,
Thou com’st to fill with hope the human heart,
And strengthen it to bear the storms awhile,
Till winter’s frowns depart.
Far in a sheltered nook,
I’ve met, in these calm days, a smiling flower,
A lonely aster, trembling by a brook,
At the quiet noontides’ hour:
And something told my mind
That, should old age to childhood call me back,
Some sunny days and flowers I still might find
Along life’s weary track.
November 1851, Sartain’s Magazine (Philadelphia, PA), “Life of Man and of the Year. November” by Henrietta A. Hadry, pg. 329, col. 1:
This period of “the year’s last loveliest smile,” is, as its name denotes, peculiar to America.
Autumn | The year’s last, loveliest smile
Wa Fa
Published on Oct 23, 2017
Storm King | New York
Indian Summer
by John H. Bryant
That soft autumnal time ...
The Purple Ink Cafe
“Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile.” ~ William Cullen Bryant http://ow.ly/b7TE30lzLBc
7:30 PM - 29 Aug 2018
Wordnet Productions
“Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.”
[Indian Summer]”
― John Howard Bryant
2:17 PM - 30 Aug 2018

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityTime/Weather • Saturday, September 01, 2018 • Permalink

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