The King of Autumn


In the spirit of fall, here’s a “lost verse” from Douglas McKelvey’s liturgy of “Praise to the King of Creation.”

You are the King of Autumn,
You are the Master Painter of trees,
You are the Progenitor of Pumpkins.

You are the Cider King,
the Harvest King.

You are the Lord of Gourds,
You are the Emperor of Apples.

You sit enthroned among the oaks,
upon your brow a wreath of golden birch leaves,
within your hand a staff of yellowed corn stalk,
your robe a rich maple leaf red.

You are the King of golden fields,
You are the Lord of lengthened nights.
You are the source of Hallowed delights.

You are the King of Autumn.

[Editor’s note: By “lost verse,” Chris means that he wrote this poem himself, inspired by McKelvey’s liturgy of “Praise to the King of Creation,” found in Every Moment Holy.]

Chris currently teaches writing and literature to community college students in Massachusetts. He is the author of six books of poetry, and can probably be found reading a book, drinking chai, and wearing flannel. In 2018 he and his wife Jen co-founded The Poetry Pub, an online community for poets. He enjoys walking in the woods, hanging out in coffee shops, and poking around used bookstores.


  1. Miss Mary


    I love this. While I haven’t yet seen the signs of autumn around me (I am too far south for it to be here yet), it reminds me to pay attention. There are untold “lost verses” that could be written if we just notice what is around us. Not all of us are poets, but sometimes others see things that we don’t. Someone from my church was once describing being on the beach with his kids and realizing the wonder of God. It wasn’t because of the beauty of the ocean…it was because God understands and knows the exact details of fluid dynamics and knows how far every wave will go, and how things washed up from one part will end up washing down to another. My friend can calculate some fluid dynamics problems, but the ocean completely overwhelmed his mind…and God understands it. That would not have occurred to me, but He is the founder of fluid dynamics, and so much more. Thanks for adding the seasonal verse.

  2. Ross Mantey

    Chris, thank you so much for this. I have been reading it out each day, resting and reveling in it as both a psalm and anthem. To meet him in those lengthened nights. To drink deeply of his hallowed delights. He is the Cider King! The Harvest King! He is my King!

  3. Nicholas


    I love the alliteration and imagery in this short poem. There is something special about fall in New England that can’t help but make me move a little more slowly to take in all the wonders of God’s creation. He is the King, indeed!

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