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Poems for Winter

Page history last edited by Ann Vipond 2 years, 8 months ago

Winter 

 

When icicles hang by the wall 
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail 
And Tom bears logs into the hall, 
And milk comes frozen home in pail, 
When Blood is nipped and ways be foul, 
Then nightly sings the staring owl, 
Tu-who; 
Tu-whit, tu-who: a merry note, 
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot. 

When all aloud the wind doth blow, 
And coughing drowns the parson's saw, 
And birds sit brooding in the snow, 
And Marian's nose looks red and raw 
When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl, 
Then nightly sings the staring owl, 
Tu-who; 
Tu-whit, tu-who: a merry note, 
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot. 

 

By William Shakespeare

 

 

 

Winter Stores 

 

We take from life one little share,
And say that this shall be
A space, redeemed from toil and care, 
From tears and sadness free. 

And, haply, Death unstrings his bow
And Sorrow stands apart,
And, for a little while, we know
The sunshine of the heart. 

Existence seems a summer eve,
Warm, soft, and full of peace;
Our free, unfettered feelings give
The soul its full release. 

A moment, then, it takes the power,
To call up thoughts that throw
Around that charmed and hallowed hour,
This life's divinest glow. 

But Time, though viewlessly it flies,
And slowly, will not stay;
Alike, through clear and clouded skies,
It cleaves its silent way. 

Alike the bitter cup of grief,
Alike the draught of bliss,
Its progress leaves but moment brief
For baffled lips to kiss. 

The sparkling draught is dried away,
The hour of rest is gone,
And urgent voices, round us, say,
' Ho, lingerer, hasten on !' 

And has the soul, then, only gained,
From this brief time of ease,
A moment's rest, when overstrained,
One hurried glimpse of peace ? 

No; while the sun shone kindly o'er us,
And flowers bloomed round our feet,­
While many a bud of joy before us
Unclosed its petals sweet,­ 

An unseen work within was plying;
Like honey-seeking bee,
From flower to flower, unwearied, flying,
Laboured one faculty,­ 

Thoughtful for Winter's future sorrow,
Its gloom and scarcity;
Prescient to-day, of want to-morrow,
Toiled quiet Memory. 

'Tis she that from each transient pleasure 
Extracts a lasting good;
'Tis she that finds, in summer, treasure 
To serve for winter's food. 

And when Youth's summer day is vanished,
And Age brings Winter's stress,
Her stores, with hoarded sweets replenished, 
Life's evening hours will bless. 

 

By Charlotte Brontë

 

 

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