Fall is my favorite time of year, and though the northern states are probably feeling the season more acutely, the south is now starting to experience the trickle down.  Just as stories of becoming are typically more interesting than stories of being, I think the transitional seasons are more pleasant than Summer and Winter.

C.S. Lewis writes of perceiving the idea of Autumn as a child through Beatrix Potter’s book Squirrel Nutkin.

“It sounds fantastic to say that one can be enamored of a season, but that is something like what happened; and, as before, the experience was one of intense desire.  And one went back to the book, not to gratify the desire (that was impossible–how can one possess Autumn?) but to reawake it.”

There does seem to be a thought in Lewis’ writings that the beauty inspires longing because there is a tension between man’s spiritual aspirations, and his fallen (no pun) condition.  Because beauty speaks most directly to the spirit, it makes sense that beauty has fallen out of fashion in academic pursuits of art–especially since the narrative of modernity tends to run along the rails of scientific materialism which denies the spirit altogether.

At any rate, I have done an illustration in a fall setting in honor of the coming season.

Pencil Rough

Excerpt from Thomas Forsythe’s, The Ballads of the Fourteenth Regiment: sung during various campaigns in India, Denmark, Portugal, Spain, The Low Countries, and France from 1799 to 1818 with notices of variant constructions.  Volume 1.

The Ballad of Colonel Sly

Good Colonel Sly often was widely perceived

As the fanciest dandy that could be conceived.

He rode on the furry red back of a fox

And ladies did gaze at his golden forelocks.


O dum de de dum de de dum de de day

de dum de de dum de de dum de hurray!


The Colonel was fine and he stood six feet two

But poor as a church mouse he was, yes it’s true

So the wealthiest daughters were all locked away

Which caused the poor Colonel to protest foul play.


O dum de de dum etc.


But one soft grey morn Colonel Sly said “good day”

To a wealthy young widow who happened his way

And in no time at all they were married. Some say

They rode off on his fox with a fine rose bouquet.

O dum de de dum etc.

Photo of the ink version sans photoshop.


UPDATE: It is quite possible that there is no such person as Thomas Forsythe, and no such book as The Ballads of the Fourteenth Regiment.  There further exists the possibility that “The Battle of Colonel Sly” may have been made up.  However, I stand by my comments on Fall.



Published by Zach

I'm a writer and illustrator living in Creedmoor NC.

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  1. I love fall too! The transitional seasons are much more inspiring to me, and I think that has been true throughout art & music history. And your ballad and artwork are really fabulous.

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