"Where are the songs of Summer?--With the sun"
The blooms and blossoming of summer are conspicuously absent. They seem to be blushing in the last sunny hours. The days in autumn are characterized by shorter daylight hours. Therefore, it appears as though the night is suddenly ushered in. “When the mild Eve by sudden Night is prest.” The word ‘eve’ means ‘the period of decreasing daylight from late afternoon until nightfall.’
Proserpina is an ancient Roman goddess who, according to myth, is said to be responsible for the cycle of seasons. Venus makes Pluto fall in love through her son Cupid. She makes Cupid hit Pluto with one of his arrows.
Pluto beholds Proserpina, who was at the time in Sicily playing with nymphs and collecting flowers, and immediately falls in love with her. She is abducted by Pluto in order to be married to him and live in the underworld. Her mother Ceres desperately sets out in search of her. Jupiter makes Proserpina eat pomegranate seeds so that she can return to the world of the living every alternate six months. Her shuttling between the two worlds is said to be the reason for the seasons. Ceres welcomes her when it is spring, and the world withers as she returns to her husband .The melancholy of autumn is therefore equated with the despair of Proserpina.
Proserpina was abducted against her wishes hence the adjective ‘tearful’ .The phrase ‘gloomy breast’ may refer to the woes of both Proserpina and her mother Ceres. The glow of summer is equated with pride here. The green prime stands for the desired maturity. The leaves seemed to twinkle:
"The many, many leaves all twinkling?--Three
On the moss'd elm; three on the naked lime
Trembling,--and one upon the old oak-tree!"
Dryads, in Greek mythology, were tree nymphs whose mortality depended on the trees that they inhabited. The dryads often disappeared into trees. They are visualized as seeking refuge in the trees. 'Cypress' is a conifer of northern temperate regions. The Dryads find security either in these trees or in the eternity of the holly.”Green’ symbolizes fertility and the condition of being evergreen. Therefore, the mortal dryads endeavor to seek immortality in the seeming eternity of the green holly.