January 1, 1829

Original Text: 
N. P. Willis, Fugitive Poetry (Boston: Peirce and Williams, 1829): 30-31. Internet Archive
1Winter is come again. The sweet south west
2Is a forgotten wind, and the strong earth
3Has laid aside its mantle to be bound
4By the frost fetter. There is not a sound
5Save of the skaiter's heel, and there is laid
6An icy finger on the lip of streams,
7And the clear icicle hangs cold and still,
8And the snow-fall is noiseless as a thought.
9Spring has a rushing sound, and Summer sends
10Many sweet voices with its odors out,
11And Autumn rustleth its decaying robe
12With a complaining whisper. Winter's dumb!
13God made his ministry a silent one,
14And he has given him a foot of steel
15And an unlovely aspect, and a breath
16Sharp to the senses -- and we know that He
17Tempereth well, and hath a meaning hid
18Under the shadow of his hand. Look up!
19And it shall be interpreted -- Your home
20Hath a temptation now. There is no voice
21Of waters with beguiling for your ear,
22And the cool forest and the meadows green
23Witch not your feet away; and in the dells
24There are no violets, and upon the hills
25There are no sunny places to lie down.
26You must go in, and by your cheerful fire
27Wait for the offices of love, and hear
28Accents of human tenderness, and feast
29Your eye upon the beauty of the young.
30It is a season for the quiet thought,
31And the still reckoning with thyself. The year
32Gives back the spirits of its dead, and time
33Whispers the history of its vanished hours;
34And the heart, calling its affections up,
35Counteth its wasted ingots. Life stands still
36And settles like a fountain, and the eye
37Sees clearly through its depths, and noteth all
38That stirred its troubled waters. It is well
39That Winter with the dying year should come!
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire / Sharine Leung
RPO Edition: 
2012
Rhyme: 
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