This collection of the late 1920s acknowledges the influence of Holst and Vaughan Williams at times in its textures and melodic structure. It is Finzi’s only true song cycle for voice and piano, non-narrative yet tracking a path from youthful vigour and idealism to a peaceful farewell to life beneath the autumnal trees. The first part of the cycle is subtitled with the text
"In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up" while that attached to the second part is "In the evening it is cut down, and withereth." The songs span the full range between the lush harmony of Her Temple and the sparse strands of The Comet at Yell’ham. Here are songs of youthful sincerity in which moments of moving intensity shine through, the composer showing himself to be at one with the mind of the poet.