I am Winter, that do keep
Longing safe amidst of sleep:
Who shall say if I were dead
What should be remembered?

by William Morris.

On My Thirty-Third Birthday, January 22, 1821

Through life's dull road, so dim and dirty,
I have dragg'd to three-and-thirty.
What have these years left to me?
Nothing--except thirty-three.

by George Gordon Byron.

Come, Come Thou Bleak December Wind (Fragment)

Come, come thou bleak December wind,
And blow the dry leaves from the tree!
Flash, like a Love-thought, thro' me, Death
And take a Life that wearies me.

by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Here are sad flowers, with wintry weeping wet,
Dews of the dark that drench the violet.
Thus over Her, whom death yet more endears,
Nature and Man together blend their tears.

by Alfred Austin.

Raging Winter Wind

'Raging winter wind
Let loose in springtime
What is the message your cold touch brings?'
Spite of days and dreams,
Warm and easy and sublime,
Terror crouches always at the heart of things.

by Lesbia Harford.

February Twilight

I stood beside a hill
Smooth with new-laid snow,
A single star looked out
From the cold evening glow.

There was no other creature
That saw what I could see--
I stood and watched the evening star
As long as it watched me.

by Sara Teasdale.

The Winter Pear

Is always Age severe?
Is never Youth austere?
Spring-fruits are sour to eat;
Autumn's the mellow time.
Nay, very late in the year,
Short day and frosty rime,
Thought, like a winter pear,
Stone-cold in summer's prime,
May turn from harsh to sweet.

by William Allingham.

Birds At Winter Nightfall (Triolet)

Around the house the flakes fly faster,
And all the berries now are gone
From holly and cotoneaster
Around the house. The flakes fly!--faster
Shutting indoors that crumb-outcaster
We used to see upon the lawn
Around the house. The flakes fly faster,
And all the berries now are gone!

by Thomas Hardy.

OVER the rim of a lacquered bowl,
Where a cold blue water-color stands
I see the wintry breakers roll
And heave their froth up the freezing sands.
Here in immunity safe and dull,
Soul treads her circuit of trivial things.
There soul's brother, a shining gull,
Dares the rough weather on dauntless wings.

by Bliss William Carman.

They spoke of him I love
With cruel words and gay;
My lips kept silent guard
On all I could not say.

I heard, and down the street
The lonely trees in the square
Stood in the winter wind
Patient and bare.

I heard . . . oh voiceless trees
Under the wind, I knew
The eager terrible spring
Hidden in you.

by Sara Teasdale.

Above the marge of night a star still shines,
And on the frosty hills the sombre pines
Harbor an eerie wind that crooneth low
Over the glimmering wastes of virgin snow.

Through the pale arch of orient the morn
Comes in a milk-white splendor newly-born,
A sword of crimson cuts in twain the gray
Banners of shadow hosts, and lo, the day!

by Lucy Maud Montgomery.

First Day Of Winter

Like the bloom on a grape is the evening air
And a first faint frost the wind has bound.
Yet the fear of his breath avails to scare
The withered leaves on the cold ground.

For they huddle and whisper in phantom throngs,
I hear them beneath the branches bare:
We danced with the Wind, we sang his songs;
Now he pursues us, we know not where.

by Robert Laurence Binyon.

I WATCH the great clear twilight
Veiling the ice-bowed trees;
Their branches tinkle faintly
With crystal melodies.
The larches bend their silver
Over the hush of snow;
One star is lighted in the west,
Two in the zenith glow.
For a moment I have forgotten
Wars and women who mourn—
I think of the mother who bore me
And thank her that I was born.

by Sara Teasdale.

Xx: The Night Is Freezing Fast

The night is freezing fast,
To-morrow comes December;
And winterfalls of old
Are with me from the past;
And chiefly I remember
How Dick would hate the cold.

Fall, winter, fall; for he,
Prompt hand and headpiece clever,
Has woven a winter robe,
And made of earth and sea
His overcoat for ever,
And wears the turning globe.

by Alfred Edward Housman.

Now December darkens
Over Autumn dead.
The frozen earth now hearkens
For the last leaf to be shed.
Above gray grass the branches bare
Melt, faint ghosts, in misty air,
Like despair.

O the nearer, deeper
In my heart, remembering
My Love's kiss and how her eyes
Blessed me like enchanted skies,
Is the joy that with the spring
Shall waken Earth the sleeper.

by Robert Laurence Binyon.

The Winter It Is Past

THE WINTER it is past, and the summer comes at last
And the small birds, they sing on ev'ry tree;
Now ev'ry thing is glad, while I am very sad,
Since my true love is parted from me.

The rose upon the breer, by the waters running clear,
May have charms for the linnet or the bee;
Their little loves are blest, and their little hearts at rest,
But my true love is parted from me.

by Robert Burns.

Song—the Winter It Is Past

The winter it is past, and the summer comes at last
And the small birds, they sing on ev’ry tree;
Now ev’ry thing is glad, while I am very sad,
Since my true love is parted from me.

The rose upon the breer, by the waters running clear,
May have charms for the linnet or the bee;
Their little loves are blest, and their little hearts at rest,
But my true love is parted from me.

by Robert Burns.

Twice A Week The Winter Thorough

Twice a week the winter thorough
Here stood I to keep the goal:
Football then was fighting sorrow
For the young man's soul.

Now in Maytime to the wicket
Out I march with bat and pad:
See the son of grief at cricket
Trying to be glad.

Try I will; no harm in trying:
Wonder 'tis how little mirth
Keeps the bones of man from lying
On the bed of earth.

by Alfred Edward Housman.

"She can't be unhappy," you said,
"The smiles are like stars in her eyes,
And her laughter is thistledown
Around her low replies."
"Is she unhappy?" you said--
But who has ever known
Another's heartbreak--
All he can know is his own;
And she seems hushed to me,
As hushed as though
Her heart were a hunter's fire
Smothered in snow.

by Sara Teasdale.

Winter comes; and our complaints
Grow apace as summer faints,
Waning days grow dull and drear,
Something tells, too well, I fear,
That I've found a germ or two;
Something seems - ee! - ah! Tish-OO.

Subthig certigly does tell
That I'b very far frob weel.
Ad I'b cadging cold, I fear
As the wading days grow near,
Winter cubs; ad our complades
Grow apace as subber fades.

by Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis.

A Winter Twilight

Pale beryl sky, with clouds
Hued like dove's wing,
The dying day,
And whose edge half enshrouds
The first fair evening star,
Most crystalline by far
Of all the stars that night enring,
Half human in its ray
What blessed, soothing sense of calm
Comes with this twilight,—sovereign balm
That takes at last the bitter sting
Of day's keen pain away.

by Arlo Bates.

The December Rose

Here's a rose that blows for Chloe,
Fair as ever a rose in June was,
Now the garden's silent, snowy,
Where the burning summer noon was.

In your garden's summer glory
One poor corner, shelved and shady,
Told no rosy, radiant story,
Grew no rose to grace its lady.

What shuts sun out shuts out snow too;
From his nook your secret lover
Shows what slighted roses grow to
When the rose you chose is over.

by Edith Nesbit.

' Swift away, swift away,'
Sang the fickle swallow,
Oh ! the fickle swallow,
Flying to the sun !
'Come, my little brothers,
Bring your feathered mothers,
Come away, come away.
Each and every one.'

'Only stay, only stay,'
Sang the lonely poet.
Oh ! the lonely poet,
All among the snow !
Robin Redbreast heard, and said,
'I am here though summer's dead ;
Cheer up, cheer up,
I will never go!'

by Radclyffe Hall.

Hold your hands to the blaze;
Winter is here
With the short cold days,
Bleak, keen and drear.
Was there ever a day
With hawthorn along the way
Where you wandered in mild mid-May
With your dear?

That was when you were young
And the world was gold;
Now all the songs are sung,
The tales all told.
You shiver now by the fire
Where the last red sparks expire;
Dead are delight and desire:
You are old.

by Edith Nesbit.

Some, Too Fragile For Winter Winds


Some, too fragile for winter winds
The thoughtful grave encloses—
Tenderly tucking them in from frost
Before their feet are cold.

Never the treasures in her nest
The cautious grave exposes,
Building where schoolboy dare not look,
And sportsman is not bold.

This covert have all the children
Early aged, and often cold,
Sparrow, unnoticed by the Father—
Lambs for whom time had not a fold.

by Emily Dickinson.

My window-pane is starred with frost,
The world is bitter cold to-night,
The moon is cruel, and the wind
Is like a two-edged sword to smite.

God pity all the homeless ones,
The beggars pacing to and fro.
God pity all the poor to-night
Who walk the lamp-lit streets of snow.

My room is like a bit of June,
Warm and close-curtained fold on fold,
But somewhere, like a homeless child,
My heart is crying in the cold.

by Sara Teasdale.

January Cold Desolate

January cold desolate;
February all dripping wet;
March wind ranges;
April changes;
Birds sing in tune
To flowers of May,
And sunny June
Brings longest day;
In scorched July
The storm-clouds fly
August bears corn,
September fruit;
In rough October
Earth must disrobe her;
Stars fall and shoot
In keen November;
And night is long
And cold is strong
In bleak December.

by Christina Georgina Rossetti.

Love And Friendship

Love is like the wild rose-briar,
Friendship like the holly-tree --
The holly is dark when the rose-briar blooms
But which will bloom most contantly?
The wild-rose briar is sweet in the spring,
Its summer blossoms scent the air;
Yet wait till winter comes again
And who wil call the wild-briar fair?
Then scorn the silly rose-wreath now
And deck thee with the holly's sheen,
That when December blights thy brow
He may still leave thy garland green.

by Emily Jane Brontë.

The wind is crying in the night,
Like a lost child;
The waves break wonderful and white
And wild.
The drenched sea-poppies swoon along
The drenched sea-wall,
And there's an end of summer and of song -
An end of all.

The fingers of the tortured boughs
Gripped by the blast
Clutch at the windows of your house
Closed fast.
And the lost child of love, despair,
Cries in the night,
Remembering how once those windows were
Open and bright.

by Edith Nesbit.

Though leafless are my trees-
My trees so tall and stately-
And silently from these
My birds have flitted lately;
Though many joys I've known,
As sweet as baby laughter,
Which have forever flown-
And sorrow follows after;
Though dead my summer flowers,
And winds are bleak and dreary,
I shall not waste the hours
In vain lament, my dearie,
Nor miss the gay carouse
Of bobolink and linnet,
If still my heart shall house
A singing bird within it.

by Andrew Jackson Downing.

The browns, the olives, and the yellows died,
And were swept up to heaven; where they glowed
Each dawn and set of sun till Christmastide,
And when the land lay pale for them, pale-snowed,
Fell back, and down the snow-drifts flamed and flowed.

From off your face, into the winds of winter,
The sun-brown and the summer-gold are blowing;
But they shall gleam with spiritual glinter,
When paler beauty on your brows falls snowing,
And through those snows my looks shall be soft-going.

by Wilfred Owen.

No Songs In Winter

The sky is gray as gray may be,
There is no bird upon the bough,
There is no leaf on vine or tree.

In the Neponset marshes now
Willow-stems, rosy in the wind,
Shiver with hidden sense of snow.

So too 't is winter in my mind,
No light-winged fancy comes and stays:
A season churlish and unkind.

Slow creep the hours, slow creep the days,
The black ink crusts upon the pen--
Just wait till bluebirds, wrens, and jays
And golden orioles come again!

by Thomas Bailey Aldrich.

NOW the little rivers go
Muffled safely under snow,
And the winding meadow streams
Murmur in their wintry dreams,
While a tinkling music wells
Faintly from their icy bells,
Telling how their hearts are bold
Though the very sun be cold.
Ah, but wait until the rain
Comes a-sighing once again,
Sweeping softly from the Sound
Over ridge and meadow ground!
Then the little streams will hear
April calling far and near,—
Slip their snowy bands and run
Sparkling in the welcome sun.

by Bliss William Carman.

Newly wedded, and happy quite,
Careless alike of wind and weather,
Two wee birds, from a merry flight,
Swing in the tree-top, sing together:
Love to them, in the wintry hour,
Summer and sunshine, bud and flower!

So, beloved, when skies are sad,
Love can render their somber golden;
A thought of thee, and the day is glad
As a rose in the dewy dawn unfolden;
And away, away, on passionate wings,
My heart like a bird at thy window sings!

by Ina D. Coolbrith.

At The War Office, London (Affixing The Lists Of Killed And Wounded: December, 1899)


Last year I called this world of gain-givings
The darkest thinkable, and questioned sadly
If my own land could heave its pulse less gladly,
So charged it seemed with circumstance whence springs
   The tragedy of things.


Yet at that censured time no heart was rent
Or feature blanched of parent, wife, or daughter
By hourly blazoned sheets of listed slaughter;
Death waited Nature's wont; Peace smiled unshent
   From Ind to Occident.

by Thomas Hardy.

I Who All The Winter Through

I WHO all the winter through
Cherished other loves than you,
And kept hands with hoary policy in marriage-bed and pew;
Now I know the false and true,
For the earnest sun looks through,
And my old love comes to meet me in the dawning and the dew.

Now the hedged meads renew
Rustic odour, smiling hue,
And the clean air shines and tinkles as the world goes wheeling through;
And my heart springs up anew,
Bright and confident and true,
And my old love comes to meet me in the dawning and the dew.

by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Song—the Winter Of Life

BUT lately seen in gladsome green,
The woods rejoic'd the day,
Thro' gentle showers, the laughing flowers
In double pride were gay:
But now our joys are fled
On winter blasts awa;
Yet maiden May, in rich array,
Again shall bring them a'.

But my white pow, nae kindly thowe
Shall melt the snaws of Age;
My trunk of eild, but buss or beild,
Sinks in Time's wintry rage.
Oh, Age has weary days,
And nights o' sleepless pain:
Thou golden time, o' Youthfu' prime,
Why comes thou not again!

by Robert Burns.

Song Xiii. - Winter

No more, ye warbling birds! rejoice:
Of all that cheer'd the plain,
Echo alone preserves her voice,
And she-repeats my pain.

Where'er my lovesick limbs I lay
To shun the rushing wind,
Its busy murmurs seem to say,
'She never will be kind!'

The Naiads, o'er their frozen urns,
In icy chains repine;
And each in sullen silence mourns
Her freedom lost, like mine!

Soon will the sun's returning rays
The cheerless frost control;
When will relenting Delia chase
The winter of my soul?

by William Shenstone.

The Farm Woman's Winter


If seasons all were summers,
And leaves would never fall,
And hopping casement-comers
Were foodless not at all,
And fragile folk might be here
That white winds bid depart;
Then one I used to see here
Would warm my wasted heart!


One frail, who, bravely tilling
Long hours in gripping gusts,
Was mastered by their chilling,
And now his ploughshare rusts.
So savage winter catches
The breath of limber things,
And what I love he snatches,
And what I love not, brings.

by Thomas Hardy.

Zummer An' Winter

When I led by zummer streams
The pride o' Lea, as naighbours thought her,
While the zun, wi' evenen beams,
Did cast our sheades athirt the water;
Winds a-blowen,
Streams a-flowen,
Skies a-glowen,
Tokens ov my jay zoo fleeten,
Heightened it, that happy meeten.

Then, when maid an' man took pleaces,
Gay in winter's Chris'mas dances,
Showen in their merry feaces
Kindly smiles an' glisnen glances;
Stars a-winken,
Day a-shrinken,
Sheades a-zinken,
Brought anew the happy meeten,
That did meake the night too fleeten.

by William Barnes.