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Winter Poems

Table of Contents

Poems About Winter

  1. Signs of Winter by John Clare
  2. The Winter's Spring by John Clare
  3. First Winter Morning by Lydia Sigourney
  4. The Winter's Come by John Clare
  5. Winter by Mary Baldwin
  6. Winter Nights by Thomas Campion
  7. Schoolboys in Winter by John Clare
  8. Picture-Books in Winter by Robert Louis Stevenson
  9. Winter by Charles T. Brooks
  10. Coasting Down the Hill by Anonymous
  11. Winter Dawn by Anonymous
  12. Winter by Adelaide Crapsey
  13. There's a certain slant of light by Emily Dickinson
  14. Winter Twilight by Bliss Carman
  15. Winter by Benjamin Hine
  16. Midwinter Thaw by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts
  17. Mid-Winter by Madison Cawein
  18. Midwinter by John Townsend Trowbridge
  19. Winter: A Dirge by Robert Burns
  20. Dirge for the Year by Percy Bysshe Shelley
  21. A Winter Piece by William Cullen Bryant
  22. Winter Streams by Bliss Carman
  23. A Winter Piece by Bliss Carman
  24. Winter by Bliss Carman
  25. Winter by Madison Cawein
  26. Ice by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts
  27. The Skater by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts
  28. Beauty is Dead by Charles Swain
  29. A Winter Landscape by Mathilde Blind
  30. Winter Now by Samuel Longfellow
  31. Winter Woe by Anonymous
  32. Winter-Time by Robert Louis Stevenson

Woods in Winter

  1. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost
  2. Woods in Winter by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Frost in Winter

  1. Freaks of the Frost by Hannah Flagg Gould
  2. The Frost by Hannah Flagg Gould
  3. When the Frost is in the Ground by Amos Russel Wells
  4. Jack Frost's Apology by John B. Tabb

The Coming of Spring

  1. Winter and Spring by Hannah Flagg Gould

Poems About Winter

  1. Signs of Winter

    by John Clare

    The cat runs races with her tail. The dog
    Leaps oer the orchard hedge and knarls the grass.
    The swine run round and grunt and play with straw,
    Snatching out hasty mouthfuls from the stack.
    Sudden upon the elmtree tops the crow
    Unceremonious visit pays and croaks,
    Then swops away. From mossy barn the owl
    Bobs hasty out—wheels round and, scared as soon,
    As hastily retires. The ducks grow wild
    And from the muddy pond fly up and wheel
    A circle round the village and soon, tired,
    Plunge in the pond again. The maids in haste
    Snatch from the orchard hedge the mizzled clothes
    And laughing hurry in to keep them dry.

  2. The Winter's Spring

    by John Clare

    The winter comes; I walk alone,
    I want no bird to sing;
    To those who keep their hearts their own
    The winter is the spring.
    No flowers to please—no bees to hum—
    The coming spring's already come.

    I never want the Christmas rose
    To come before its time;
    The seasons, each as God bestows,
    Are simple and sublime.
    I love to see the snowstorm hing;
    'Tis but the winter garb of spring.

    I never want the grass to bloom:
    The snowstorm's best in white.
    I love to see the tempest come
    And love its piercing light.
    The dazzled eyes that love to cling
    O'er snow-white meadows sees the spring.

    I love the snow, the crumpling snow
    That hangs on everything,
    It covers everything below
    Like white dove's brooding wing,
    A landscape to the aching sight,
    A vast expanse of dazzling light.

    It is the foliage of the woods
    That winters bring—the dress,
    White Easter of the year in bud,
    That makes the winter Spring.
    The frost and snow his posies bring,
    Nature's white spurts of the spring.

  3. First Winter Morning

    by Lydia Sigourney

    Awake, and let the tuneful lay,
    With joy to Heaven's high palace rise,
    Ere the rejoicing King of Day,
    Returns to light the glowing skies,

    While o'er the hillocks' ice-wrapt heads,
    Refulgent steals his golden hue,
    And wreathing smoke, aspiring spreads,
    In curling volumes, light and blue.

    Great Giver of our fleeting days,
    The changeful year is full of Thee,
    Each opening season speaks thy praise,
    And so, with grateful heart, should we.

    Deep lies the snow, o'er dale and brake,
    Our bright fire sparkles on the hearth,
    And laughter from the neighbouring lake,
    Proclaims the graceful skater's mirth.

    Yet think of those in lowly shed,
    By pining penury darkly prest,
    For whom no blazing fire is fed,
    No cheering board with plenty drest.

    Oh, haste to seek and save the lost,
    Raise the warm prayer to Him above,
    So Winter with its links of frost,
    Shall bind thee to a God of love.

    Fall'n are the flowers that deck'd our path, The birds of summer-song are fled,
    And 'neath the bitter tempest's wrath, The groves lie desolate and dead.

    From my lov'd plants, now icy cold,
    I hear a voice of warning gloom,
    "In us the mournful fate behold,
    That darkly waits on youthful bloom."

    But when those charms so bright and frail,
    Must shrink, and wither, and decay,
    Say, is there naught to countervail,
    The good that time shall take away?

    Is there no joy to light the eye,
    When beauty, youth, and health, are past?
    When all our earthly pleasures fly,
    Like leaves before the wintry blast?

    There is a joy that checks the throng,
    Of chilling care, and sorrow's shock,
    That strikes an anchor deep and strong,
    In Heaven's imperishable rock.

    Grant me this joy, and when my soul,
    Her farewell to the world shall sigh,
    When unknown seas around me roll,
    And toss their deathful billows high,

    When to yon wintry hills afar,
    To all of earth, these eyes are dim,
    The lustre of my Saviour's star,
    Shall clearly mark my way to Him.

  4. The Winter's Come

    by John Clare

    Sweet chestnuts brown like soling leather turn;
    The larch trees, like the colour of the Sun;
    That paled sky in the Autumn seemed to burn,
    What a strange scene before us now does run—
    Red, brown, and yellow, russet, black, and dun;
    White thorn, wild cherry, and the poplar bare;
    The sycamore all withered in the sun.
    No leaves are now upon the birch tree there:
    All now is stript to the cold wintry air.

    See, not one tree but what has lost its leaves—
    And yet the landscape wears a pleasing hue.
    The winter chill on his cold bed receives
    Foliage which once hung oer the waters blue.
    Naked and bare the leafless trees repose.
    Blue-headed titmouse now seeks maggots rare,
    Sluggish and dull the leaf-strewn river flows;
    That is not green, which was so through the year
    Dark chill November draweth to a close.

    Tis Winter, and I love to read indoors,
    When the Moon hangs her crescent up on high;
    While on the window shutters the wind roars,
    And storms like furies pass remorseless by.
    How pleasant on a feather bed to lie,
    Or, sitting by the fire, in fancy soar
    With Dante or with Milton to regions high,
    Or read fresh volumes we've not seen before,
    Or oer old Burton's Melancholy pore.

  5. Winter

    by Mary Baldwin

    The wind blows high, the wind blows low,
    The buried prairies in the snow
    Lie warm and deep.
    Safe under Winter's soft white wing
    A little seedling dreams of spring,
    Stirs in its sleep.

    The wind has gone, and softly come
    Small furry friends from drifted home,
    Hungry — a fright —
    The marks of tiny footsteps show,
    Like frozen music-notes, on snow
    All silent, white.

  6. Winter Nights

    by Thomas Campion

    Now winter nights enlarge
    The number of their hours,
    And clouds their storms discharge
    Upon the airy towers.
    Let now the chimneys blaze
    And cups o'erflow with wine;
    Let well-tuned words amaze
    With harmony divine.
    Now yellow waxen lights
    Shall wait on honey love,
    While youthful revels, masques, and courtly sights
    Sleep's leaden spells remove.

    This time doth well dispense
    With lovers' long discourse;
    Much speech hath some defence,
    Though beauty no remorse.
    All do not all things well;
    Some measures comely tread,
    Some knotted riddles tell,
    Some poems smoothly read.
    The summer hath his joys,
    And winter his delights;
    Though love and all his pleasures are but toys,
    They shorten tedious nights.

  7. Schoolboys in Winter

    by John Clare

    The schoolboys still their morning ramble take
    To neighboring village school with playing speed,
    Loitering with passtime's leisure till they quake,
    Oft looking up the wild-geese droves to heed,
    Watching the letters which their journeys make;
    Or plucking haws on which their fieldfares feed,
    And hips and sloes; and on each shallow lake
    Making glib slides, where they like shadows go
    Till some fresh passtimes in their minds awake.
    Then off they start anew and hasty blow
    Their numbed and clumpsing fingers till they glow;
    Then races with their shadows wildly run
    That stride huge giants o'er the shining snow
    In the pale splendour of the winter sun.

  8. Picture-Books in Winter

    by Robert Louis Stevenson

    Summer fading, winter comes—
    Frosty mornings, tingling thumbs,
    Window robins, winter rooks,
    And the picture story-books.

    Water now is turned to stone
    Nurse and I can walk upon;
    Still we find the flowing brooks
    In the picture story-books.

    All the pretty things put by,
    Wait upon the children's eye,
    Sheep and shepherds, trees and crooks,
    In the picture story-books.

    We may see how all things are,
    Seas and cities, near and far,
    And the flying fairies' looks,
    In the picture story-books.

    How am I to sing your praise,
    Happy chimney-corner days,
    Sitting safe in nursery nooks,
    Reading picture story-books?

  9. Winter

    by Charles T. Brooks

    Now no plumed throng
    Charms the wood with song;
    Icebound trees are glittering;
    Merry snowbirds, twittering,
    Fondly strive to cheer
    Scenes so cold and drear.

    Winter, still I see
    Many charms in thee,
    Love thy chilly greeting,
    Snowstorms fiercely beating,
    And the dear delights
    Of the long, long nights.

  10. Coasting Down the Hill

    by Anonymous

    Frosty is the morning;
    But the sun is bright,
    Flooding all the landscape
    With its golden light.
    Hark the sounds of laughter
    And the voices shrill!
    See the happy children
    Coasting down the hill.

    There are Tom and Charley,
    And their sister Nell;
    There are John and Willie,
    Kate and Isabel,—
    Eyes with pleasure beaming,
    Cheeks with health aglow;
    Bless the merry children,
    Trudging through the snow!

    Now I hear them shouting,
    "Ready! Clear the track!"
    Down the slope they're rushing,
    Now they're trotting back.

    Full of fun and frolic,
    Thus they come and go.
    Coating down the hillside,
    Trudging through the snow.

  11. Winter Dawn

    by Amos Russel Wells

    The trees are still; the bare cold branches lie
    Against a waiting sky.
    Light everywhere, but ghostly light that seems
    The cast-off robe of dreams;
    And everywhere a hush that seems to hark
    At the doorway of the dark.
    O fields, white-sheeted, desolate and dumb,—
    If you knew what's to come!

  12. Winter

    by Adelaide Crapsey

    The cold
    With steely clutch
    Grips all the land…alack,
    The little people in the hills
    Will die!

  13. There's a certain slant of ligh

    by Emily Dickinson

    There's a certain slant of light,
    On winter afternoons,
    That oppresses, like the weight
    Of cathedral tunes.

    Heavenly hurt it gives us;
    We can find no scar,
    But internal difference
    Where the meanings are.

    None may teach it anything,
    'T is the seal, despair, —
    An imperial affliction
    Sent us of the air.

    When it comes, the landscape listens,
    Shadows hold their breath;
    When it goes, 't is like the distance
    On the look of death.

  14. Winter Twilight

    by Bliss Carman

    Along the wintry skyline,
    Crowning the rocky crest,
    Stands the bare screen of hardwood trees
    Against the saffron west, —
    Its gray and purple network
    Of branching tracery
    Outspread upon the lucent air,
    Like weed within the sea.

    The scarlet robe of autumn
    Renounced and put away,
    The mystic Earth is fairer still, —
    A Puritan in gray.
    The spirit of the winter,
    How tender, how austere!
    Yet all the ardor of the spring
    And summer's dream are here.

    Fear not, O timid lover,
    The touch of frost and rime!
    This is the virtue that sustained
    The roses in their prime.
    The anthem of the northwind
    Shall hallow thy despair,
    The benediction of the snow
    Be answer to thy prayer.

    And now the star of evening
    That is the pilgrim's sign,
    Is lighted in the primrose dusk,—
    A lamp before a shrine.
    Peace fills the mighty minster,
    Tranquil and gray and old,
    And all the chancel of the west
    Is bright with paling gold.

    A little wind goes sifting
    Along the meadow floor,—
    Like steps of lovely penitents
    Who sighingly adore.
    Then falls the twilight curtain,
    And fades the eerie light,
    And frost and silence turn the keys
    In the great doors of night.

  15. Winter

    by Benjamin Hine

    See nature all clothed in her winter's array,
    The tops of the mountains are deluged in snow,
    Over the fields the white mantle's extended,
    And all the plains are covered below.

    The trees are now stripped of their beautiful foliage,
    The birds gone to seek some milder domain,
    And instead of their notes the loud wind is roaring,
    The rills are bound fast, in their cold icy chain.

    How changed is the scene from the gay smiling summer, When gardens and orchards were in their bloom,
    When the fields and the meadows appeared in rich verdure, And bright smiling sun-beams the long day illume.

    Now far from our clime, the bright orb has retreated,
    The day is cut short and seems but a span,
    The dark freezing night is to great lengths extended,
    A dreary scene, both for beast and for man.

    But if we look forwards the prospect is cheering,
    The smiling spring will soon return,
    The snow will dissolve, the cold wind will cease roaring,
    And joyful nature cease to mourn.

    The birds will return and again tune their voices,
    The gardens and orchards again will bloom,
    The fields and the meadows renew their rich verdure,
    And sweet scented flowrets the air perfume.

    Then cheer up, oh, man, let the prospect delight thee,
    Remember the summer will come again;
    Were it not for this view, oh, how should we languish!
    But hope is the balm that relieves our pain.

    Yes, this is the solace that latest forsakes us,
    Surrounded with sorrow, 'tis man's surest friend,
    When afflictions o'ertake him he looks away forward,
    And lives on the hope that his troubles will end.

    So when the cold winter of age creeps on him,
    He looks away to that brighter morn,
    When all his powers shall be re-animated,
    And light unremitting the scene adorn.

    Oh, when the last sands of my life are expended,
    May angels conduct my spirit above,
    To dwell in the presence of Him who formed it,
    And bathe forever in seas of love.

  16. Mid-Winter

    by Madison Cawein

    All day the clouds hung ashen with the cold;
    And through the snow the muffled waters fell;
    The day seemed drowned in grief too deep to tell,
    Like some old hermit whose last bead is told.
    At eve the wind woke, and the snow clouds rolled
    Aside to leave the fierce sky visible;
    Harsh as an iron landscape of wan hell
    The dark hills hung framed in with gloomy gold.
    And then, towards night, the wind seemed some one at
    My window wailing: now a little child
    Crying outside my door; and now the long
    Howl of some starved beast down the flue. I sat
    And knew 'twas Winter with his madman song
    Of miseries on which he stared and smiled.

  17. Midwinter

    by John Townsend Trowbridge

    The speckled sky is dim with snow,
    The light flakes falter and fall slow;
    Athwart the hill-top, rapt and pale,
    Silently drops a silvery veil;
    And all the valley is shut in
    By flickering curtains gray and thin.

    But cheerily the chickadee
    Singeth to me on fence and tree;
    The snow sails round him as he sings,
    White as the down of angels' wings.

    I watch the slow flakes as they fall
    On bank and brier and broken wall;
    Over the orchard, waste and brown,
    All noiselessly they settle down,
    Tipping the apple-boughs, and each
    Light quivering twig of plum and peach.

    On turf and curb and bower-roof
    The snow-storm spreads its ivory woof;
    It paves with pearl the garden-walk;
    And lovingly round tattered stalk
    And shivering stem its magic weaves
    A mantle fair as lily-leaves.

    The hooded beehive, small and low,
    Stands like a maiden in the snow;
    And the old door-slab is half hid
    Under an alabaster lid.
    All day it snows: the sheeted post
    Gleams in the dimness like a ghost;
    All day the blasted oak has stood
    A muffled wizard of the wood;
    Garland and airy cap adorn
    The sumach and the wayside thorn,
    And clustering spangles lodge and shine
    In the dark tresses of the pine.

    The ragged bramble, dwarfed and old,
    Shrinks like a beggar in the cold;
    In surplice white the cedar stands,
    And blesses him with priestly hands.

    Still cheerily the chickadee
    Singeth to me on fence and tree:
    But in my inmost ear is heard
    The music of a holier bird;
    And heavenly thoughts, as soft and white
    As snow-flakes, on my soul alight,
    Clothing with love my lonely heart,
    Healing with peace each bruised part,
    Till all my being seems to be
    Transfigured by their purity.

  18. Midwinter Thaw

    by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts

    How shrink the snows upon this upland field,
    Under the dove-grey dome of brooding noon!
    They shrink with soft reluctant shocks, and soon
    In sad brown ranks the furrows lie revealed.
    From radiant cisterns of the frost unsealed
    Now wakes through all the air a watery rune—
    The babble of a million brooks atune,
    In fairy conduits of blue ice concealed.

    Noisy with crows, the wind-break on the hill
    Counts o'er its buds for summer. In the air
    Some shy foreteller prophesies with skill—
    Some voyaging ghost of bird, some effluence rare;
    And the stall-wearied cattle dream their fill
    Of deep June pastures where the pools are fair.

  19. Winter: A Dirge

    by Robert Burns

    The wintry west extends his blast,
    And hail and rain does blaw;
    Or, the stormy north sends driving forth
    The blinding sleet and snaw:
    While tumbling brown, the burn comes down,
    And roars frae bank to brae;
    And bird and beast in covert rest,
    And pass the heartless day.

    The sweeping blast, the sky o’ercast,
    The joyless winter-day,
    Let others fear, to me more dear
    Than all the pride of May:
    The tempest’s howl, it soothes my soul,
    My griefs it seems to join;
    The leafless trees my fancy please,
    Their fate resembles mine!

    Thou Pow’r Supreme, whose mighty scheme
    These woes of mine fulfil,
    Here, firm, I rest, they must be best,
    Because they are Thy will!
    Then all I want (O, do Thou grant
    This one request of mine!)
    Since to enjoy Thou dost deny,
    Assist me to resign.

  20. Dirge for the Year

    by Percy Bysshe Shelley

    Orphan Hours, the Year is dead,
    Come and sigh, come and weep!
    Merry Hours, smile instead,
    For the Year is but asleep.
    See, it smiles as it is sleeping,
    Mocking your untimely weeping.

    As an earthquake rocks a corse
    In its coffin in the clay,
    So White Winter, that rough nurse,
    Rocks the death-cold Year to-day;
    Solemn Hours! wail aloud
    For your mother in her shroud.

    As the wild air stirs and sways
    The tree-swung cradle of a child,
    So the breath of these rude days
    Rocks the Year:—be calm and mild,
    Trembling Hours, she will arise
    With new love within her eyes.

    January gray is here,
    Like a sexton by her grave;
    February bears the bier,
    March with grief doth howl and rave,
    And April weeps—but, O ye Hours!
    Follow with May's fairest flowers.

  21. A Winter Piece

    by William Cullen Bryant

    The time has been that these wild solitudes,
    Yet beautiful as wild—were trod by me
    Oftener than now; and when the ills of life
    Had chafed my spirit—when the unsteady pulse
    Beat with strange flutterings—I would wander forth
    And seek the woods. The sunshine on my path

    Was to me as a friend. The swelling hills,
    The quiet dells retiring far between,
    With gentle invitation to explore
    Their windings, were a calm society
    That talked with me and soothed me. Then the chant
    Of birds, and chime of brooks, and soft caress
    Of the fresh sylvan air, made me forget
    The thoughts that broke my peace, and I began
    To gather simples by the fountain's brink,
    And lose myself in day-dreams. While I stood
    In nature's loneliness, I was with one
    With whom I early grew familiar, one
    Who never had a frown for me, whose voice
    Never rebuked me for the hours I stole
    From cares I loved not, but of which the world
    Deems highest, to converse with her. When shrieked
    The bleak November winds, and smote the woods,
    And the brown fields were herbless, and the shades,
    That met above the merry rivulet,
    Were spoiled, I sought, I loved them still,—they seemed
    Like old companions in adversity.
    Still there was beauty in my walks; the brook,
    Bordered with sparkling frost-work, was as gay
    As with its fringe of summer flowers. Afar,
    The village with its spires, the path of streams,
    And dim receding valleys, hid before
    By interposing trees, lay visible
    Through the bare grove, and my familiar haunts
    Seemed new to me. Nor was I slow to come
    Among them; when the clouds, from their still skirts,
    Had shaken down on earth the feathery snow,
    And all was white. The pure keen air abroad,
    Albeit it breathed no scent of herb, nor heard
    Love-call of bird nor merry hum of bee,
    Was not the air of death. Bright mosses crept
    Over the spotted trunks, and the close buds,
    That lay along the boughs, instinct with life,
    Patient, and waiting the soft breath of Spring,
    Feared not the piercing spirit of the North.
    The snow-bird twittered on the beechen bough,
    And 'neath the hemlock, whose thick branches bent
    Beneath its bright cold burden, and kept dry
    A circle, on the earth, of withered leaves,
    The partridge found a shelter. Through the snow
    The rabbit sprang away. The lighter track
    Of fox, and the racoon's broad path were there,
    Crossing each other. From his hollow tree,
    The squirrel was abroad, gathering the nuts
    Just fallen, that asked the winter cold and sway
    Of winter blast, to shake them from their hold.

    But winter has yet brighter scenes,—he boasts
    Splendours beyond what gorgeous Summer knows;
    Or Autumn, with his many fruits, and woods
    All flushed with many hues. Come, when the rains
    Have glazed the snow, and clothed the trees with ice;
    While the slant sun of February pours
    Into the bowers a flood of light. Approach!
    The incrusted surface shall upbear thy steps,
    And the broad arching portals of the grove
    Welcome thy entering. Look! the massy trunks
    Are cased in the pure crystal; each light spray,
    Nodding and tinkling in the breath of heaven,
    Is studded with its trembling water-drops,
    That stream with rainbow radiance as they move.
    But round the parent stem the long low boughs
    Bend, in a glittering ring, and arbours hide
    The glassy floor. Oh! you might deem the spot,
    The spacious cavern of some virgin mine,
    Deep in the womb of earth—where the gems grow,
    And diamonds put forth radiant rods and bud
    With amethyst and topaz—and the place
    Lit up, most royally, with the pure beam
    That dwells in them. Or haply the vast hall
    Of fairy palace, that outlasts the night,
    And fades not in the glory of the sun;—
    Where crystal columns send forth slender shafts
    And crossing arches; and fantastic aisles
    Wind from the sight in brightness, and are lost
    Among the crowded pillars. Raise thine eye,—
    Thou seest no cavern roof, no palace vault;
    There the blue sky and the white drifting cloud
    Look in. Again the wildered fancy dreams
    Of spouting fountains, frozen as they rose,
    And fixed, with all their branching jets, in air
    And all their sluices sealed. All, all is light;
    Light without shade. But all shall pass away
    With the next sun. From numberless vast trunks,
    Loosened, the crashing ice shall make a sound
    Like the far roar of rivers, and the eve
    Shall close o'er the brown woods as it was wont.

    And it is pleasant, when the noisy streams
    Are just set free, and milder suns melt off
    The plashy snow, save only the firm drift
    In the deep glen or the close shade of pines,—
    'Tis pleasant to behold the wreaths of smoke
    Roll up among the maples of the hill,
    Where the shrill sound of youthful voices wakes
    The shriller echo, as the clear pure lymph,
    That from the wounded trees, in twinkling drops,
    Falls, 'mid the golden brightness of the morn,
    Is gathered in with brimming pails, and oft,
    Wielded by sturdy hands, the stroke of axe
    Makes the woods ring. Along the quiet air,
    Come and float calmly off the soft light clouds,
    Such as you see in summer, and the winds
    Scarce stir the branches. Lodged in sunny cleft,
    Where the cold breezes come not, blooms alone
    The little wind-flower, whose just opened eye
    Is blue as the spring heaven it gazes at—
    Startling the loiterer in the naked groves
    With unexpected beauty, for the time
    Of blossoms and green leaves is yet afar.
    And ere it comes, the encountering winds shall oft
    Muster their wrath again, and rapid clouds
    Shade heaven, and bounding on the frozen earth
    Shall fall their volleyed stores, rounded like hail,
    And white like snow, and the loud North again
    Shall buffet the vexed forests in his rage.

  22. Winter Streams

    by Bliss Carman

    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 there 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.

  23. A Winter Piece

    by Bliss Carman

    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.

  24. Winter

    by Bliss Carman

    When winter comes along the river line
    And Earth has put away her green attire,
    With all the pomp of her autumnal pride,
    The world is made a sanctuary old,
    Where Gothic trees uphold the arch of gray,
    And gaunt stone fences on the ridge's crest
    Stand like carved screens before a crimson shrine,
    Showing the sunset glory through the chinks.
    There, like a nun with frosty breath, the soul,
    Uplift in adoration, sees the world
    Transfigured to a temple of her Lord;
    While down the soft blue-shadowed aisles of snow
    Night, like a sacristan with silent step,
    Passes to light the tapers of the stars.

  25. Winter

    by Madison Cawein

    The flute, whence Summer's dreamy fingertips
    Drew music,—ripening the pinched kernels in
    The burly chestnut and the chinquapin,
    Red-rounding-out the oval haws and hips,—
    Now Winter crushes to his stormy lips,
    And surly songs whistle around his chin;
    Now the wild days and wilder nights begin
    When, at the eaves, the crooked icicle drips.
    Thy songs, O Summer, are not lost so soon!
    Still dwells a memory in thy hollow flute,
    Which unto Winter's masculine airs doth give
    Thy own creative qualities of tune,
    Through which we see each bough bend white with fruit,
    Each bush with bloom, in snow commemorative.

  26. Ice

    by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts

    When Winter scourged the meadow and the hill
    And in the withered leafage worked his will,
    The water shrank, and shuddered, and stood still,—
    Then built himself a magic house of glass,
    Irised with memories of flowers and grass,
    Wherein to sit and watch the fury pass.

  27. The Skater

    by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts

    My glad feet shod with the glittering steel
    I was the god of the wingèd heel.

    The hills in the far white sky were lost;
    The world lay still in the wide white frost;

    And the woods hung hushed in their long white dream
    By the ghostly, glimmering, ice-blue stream.

    Here was a pathway, smooth like glass,
    Where I and the wandering wind might pass

    To the far-off palaces, drifted deep,
    Where Winter's retinue rests in sleep.

    I followed the lure, I fled like a bird,
    Till the startled hollows awoke and heard

    A spinning whisper, a sibilant twang,
    As the stroke of the steel on the tense ice rang;

    And the wandering wind was left behind
    As faster, faster I followed my mind;

    Till the blood sang high in my eager brain,
    And the joy of my flight was almost pain.

    Then I stayed the rush of my eager speed
    And silently went as a drifting seed, —

    Slowly furtively till my eyes
    Grew big with the awe of a dim surmise,

    And the hair of my neck began to creep
    At hearing the wilderness talk in sleep.

    Shapes in the fir-gloom drifted near.
    In the deep of my heart I heard my fear.

    And I turned and fled, like a soul pursued,
    From the white, inviolate solitude.

  28. Winter

    by James W. Whilt

    Winter has descended o'er mountain and hill,
    His mantle of snow has spread;
    The grass and flowers are withered and brown,
    The leaves on the bushes are dead.

    The streams all are silent in icy embrace,
    They are held in his bondage so strong:
    Not even one faint murmur is heard,
    Where they laughed so loud and so long.

    The trees are draped in a mantle of snow,
    That clings to their boughs like a shroud,
    And the mountains cold and still and white
    Appear like a light fleecy cloud.

    The cattle have come from their good summer range,
    The sheep have all entered the fold,
    Winter, they know, is starting its slumber,
    And the wind is so searching and cold.

    The logs in the fire-place crackle and glow—
    Our cabin's all cozy and warm,
    The dogs are a-sleeping,—content as can be,
    So why worry o'er winter's storm.

  29. Beauty is Dead

    by Charles Swain

    Snow-stormy Winter rides
    Wild on the blast,
    Hoarsely the sullen tides
    Shoreward are cast;
    Morn meets no more the lark
    Warbling o'erhead;
    Nature mourns, dumb and dark—
    Beauty is dead!

    Sear on the willow-bank
    Fades the last leaf;
    Flower-heads that early sank
    Bowed as with grief;
    Autumn's rich gifts of bloom,
    All, all are fled;
    Winter brings shroud and tomb—
    Mary is dead.

    Sweeter than summer bird
    Sang from her bough;
    Music, the sweetest heard,
    Silent is now;
    Pale lies that cheek of woe
    On its last bed;
    Winter—too well I know—
    Beauty is dead!

  30. A Winter Landscape

    by Mathilde Blind

    All night, all day, in dizzy, downward flight,
    Fell the wild-whirling, vague, chaotic snow,
    Till every landmark of the earth below,
    Trees, moorlands, roads, and each familiar sight Were blotted out by the bewildering white.
    And winds, now shrieking loud, now whimpering low,
    Seemed lamentations for the world-old woe
    That death must swallow life, and darkness light.

    But all at once the rack was blown away,
    The snowstorm hushing ended in a sigh;
    Then like a flame the crescent moon on high
    Leaped forth among the planets; pure as they,
    Earth vied in whiteness with the Milky Way:
    Herself a star beneath the starry sky.

  31. Winter Now

    by Samuel Longfellow

    ’Tis winter now; the fallen snow
    Has left the heav’ns all coldly clear;
    Through leafless boughs the sharp winds blow,
    And all the earth lies dead and drear.

    And yet God’s love is not withdrawn;
    His life within the keen air breathes;
    His beauty paints the crimson dawn,
    And clothes the boughs with glittering wreaths.

    And though abroad the sharp winds blow,
    And skies are chill, and frosts are keen,
    Home closer draws her circle now,
    And warmer glows her light within.

    O God! Who giv’st the winter’s cold
    As well as summer’s joyous rays,
    Us warmly in Thy love enfold,
    And keep us through life’s wintry days.

  32. Winter Woe

    by Anonymous

    Winter wakens all my care,
    Now the leaves are waxing bare;
    Oft I sigh and mourn sare
    When it come in my thought
    Of this world's joy, how it goes all to nought.

  33. Winter-Time

    by Robert Louis Stevenson

    Late lies the wintry sun a-bed,
    A frosty, fiery sleepy-head;
    Blinks but an hour or two; and then,
    A blood-red orange, sets again.

    Before the stars have left the skies,
    At morning in the dark I rise;
    And shivering in my nakedness,
    By the cold candle, bathe and dress.

    Close by the jolly fire I sit
    To warm my frozen bones a bit;
    Or with a reindeer-sled, explore
    The colder countries round the door.

    When to go out, my nurse doth wrap
    Me in my comforter and cap;
    The cold wind burns my face, and blows
    Its frosty pepper up my nose.

    Black are my steps on silver sod;
    Thick blows my frosty breath abroad;
    And tree and house, and hill and lake,
    Are frosted like a wedding-cake.

  34. Woods in Winter

  35. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

    by Robert Frost

    Whose woods these are I think I know.
    His house is in the village though;
    He will not see me stopping here
    To watch his woods fill up with snow.

    My little horse must think it queer
    To stop without a farmhouse near
    Between the woods and frozen lake
    The darkest evening of the year.

    He gives his harness bells a shake
    To ask if there is some mistake.
    The only other sound’s the sweep
    Of easy wind and downy flake.

    The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep.

  36. Woods in Winter

    by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    When winter winds are piercing chill,
    And through the hawthorn blows the gale,
    With solemn feet I tread the hill,
    That overbrows the lonely vale.

    O'er the bare upland, and away
    Through the long reach of desert woods,
    The embracing sunbeams chastely play,
    And gladden these deep solitudes.

    Where, twisted round the barren oak,
    The summer vine in beauty clung,
    And summer winds the stillness broke,
    The crystal icicle is hung.

    Where, from their frozen urns, mute springs
    Pour out the river's gradual tide,
    Shrilly the skater's iron rings,
    And voices fill the woodland side.

    Alas! how changed from the fair scene,
    When birds sang out their mellow lay,
    And winds were soft, and woods were green,
    And the song ceased not with the day!

    But still wild music is abroad,
    Pale, desert woods! within your crowd;
    And gathering winds, in hoarse accord,
    Amid the vocal reeds pipe loud.

    Chill airs and wintry winds! my ear
    Has grown familiar with your song;
    I hear it in the opening year,
    I listen, and it cheers me long.

  37. Frost in Winter

  38. Freaks of the Frost

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    The Frost looked forth one still, clear night,
    And whispered, "Now I shall be out of sight;
    So through the valley and over the height
    In silence I'll take my way;
    I will not go on, like that blustering train,
    The wind and the snow, the hail and the rain,
    Who make so much bustle and noise in vain,
    But I'll be as busy as they."

    Then he flew to the mountain, and powdered its crest;
    He lit on the trees, and their boughs he dressed
    In diamond beads; and over the breast
    Of the quivering lake, he spread
    A coat of mail, that it need not fear
    The downward point of many a spear,
    That he hung on its margin, far and near,
    Where a rock could rear its head.

    He went to the windows of those who slept,
    And over each pane, like a fairy, crept;
    Wherever he breathed, wherever he stepped,
    By the light of the morn were seen
    Most beautiful things; there were flowers and trees;
    There were bevies of birds, and swarms of bees;
    There were cities with temples and towers, and these
    All pictured in silver sheen.

    But he did one thing that was hardly fair;
    He peeped in the cupboard, and, finding there
    That all had forgotten for him to prepare,
    "Now just to set them a-thinking,
    I'll bite this basket of fruit," said he,
    "This costly pitcher I'll burst in three;
    And the glass of water they've left for me
    Shall 'tchick!' to tell them I'm drinking."

  39. The Frost

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    The Frost looked forth one still, clear night,
    And whispered, "Now I shall be out of sight;
    So through the valley and over the height,
    In silence I'll take my way.
    I will not go on like that blustering train,
    The wind and the snow, the hail and the rain,
    Who make so much bustle and noise in vain,
    But I'll be as busy as they!"

    Then he flew to the mountain, and powdered its crest;
    He lit on the trees, and their boughs he drest
    In diamond beads—and over the breast
    Of the quivering lake, he spread
    A coat of mail, that it need not fear
    The downward point of many a spear,
    That he hung on its margin, far and near,
    Where a rock could rear its head.

    He went to the windows of those who slept,
    And over each pane, like a fairy, crept;
    Wherever he breathed, wherever he stepped,
    By the light of the morn were seen
    Most beautiful things; there were flowers and trees;
    There were bevies of birds and swarms of bees;
    There were cities with temples and towers; and these
    All pictured in silver sheen!

    But he did one thing that was hardly fair—
    He peeped in the cupboard, and finding there,
    That all had forgotten for him to prepare,
    "Now, just to set them a-thinking,
    I'll bite this basket of fruit," said he,
    "This costly pitcher I'll burst in three;
    And the glass of water they're left for me
    Shall 'tchick!' to tell them I'm drinking!"

  40. When the Frost is in the Ground

    by Amos Russel Wells

    When the frost is in the ground, with its sharp silver pick,
    It is digging and prospecting all around;
    There are millions of brisk workers, ever eager, ever quick,
    Ever toiling when the frost is in the ground.

    How they undermine the pebbles, how they break the hardest clod,
    And explode their dynamite without a sound!
    How they pulverize the path where a thousand feet have trod;
    Oh, what mining when the frost is in the ground!

    When the April showers fall, and the earth is fair in May,
    And the harvests in their plenitude abound,
    Let us all be glad that the cold has had its way,
    And be grateful that the frost was in the ground.

  41. The Stillness of the Frost

    by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts

    Out of the frost-white wood comes winnowing through
    No wing; no homely call or cry is heard.
    Even the hope of life seems far deferred.
    The hard hills ache beneath their spectral hue.
    A dove-grey cloud, tender as tears or dew,
    From one lone hearth exhaling, hangs unstirred,
    Like the poised ghost of some unnamed great bird
    In the ineffable pallor of the blue.

    Such, I must think, even at the dawn of Time,
    Was thy white hush, O world, when thou lay'st cold,
    Unwaked to love, new from the Maker's word,
    And the spheres, watching, stilled their high accord,
    To marvel at perfection in thy mould,
    The grace of thine austerity sublime!

  42. Jack Frost's Apology

    by John B. Tabb

    To strip you of your foliage
    My spirit sorely grieves;
    Nor will I in the work engage
    Unless you grant your leaves.

  43. The Coming of Spring

  44. Winter and Spring

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    "Adieu!" Father Winter sadly said
    To the world, when about withdrawing,
    With his old white wig half off his head,
    And his icicle fingers thawing.

    "Adieu! I am going to the rocks and caves,
    And must leave all here behind me;
    Or, perhaps I shall sink in the Northern waves,
    So deep that none can find me."

    "Good luck! good luck, to your hoary locks!"
    Said the gay young Spring, advancing;
    "You may take your rest mid the caves and rocks,
    While I o'er the earth am dancing.

    "But there is not a spot where your foot has trod,
    You hard, and clumsy old fellow,
    Not a hill, nor a field, nor a single sod,
    But I must make haste to mellow.

    "And then I shall carpet them o'er with grass,
    Which will look so bright and cheering,
    That none will regret that they let you pass
    Far out of sight and of hearing.

    "The fountains that you locked up so tight,
    When I shall give them a sunning,
    Will sparkle and play with my warmth and light,
    And the streams will set to running.

    "I'll speak in the earth to the palsied root,
    That under your reign was sleeping;
    I'll teach it the way in the dark to shoot,
    And draw out the vine to creeping.

    "The boughs that you cased so close in ice
    It was chilling e'en to behold them,
    I'll deck all over with buds so nice,
    My breath can alone unfold them.

    "And when all the trees are with blossoms dressed,
    The bird with her song so merry
    Will come to the branches to build her nest,
    With a view to the future cherry.

    "The earth will show by her loveliness,
    The wonders I am doing,
    While the skies look down, with a smile, to bless
    The way that I'm pursuing!"

    Said Winter, "Then I would have you learn
    By me, my gay new-comer,
    To push off too, when it comes your turn
    And yield your place to Summer!"