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Stillness, accompanied with sounds so soft,

WHEN ICICLES HANG BY THE WALL. Charms more than silence. Meditation here May think down hours to moments. Here the

FROM "LOVE'S LABOR 'S LOST." heart May give a useful lesson to the head,

When icicles hang by the wall, And Learning wiser grow without his books.

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,


To-whit, to-who, a merry note,
The keener tempests rise : and fuming dun
From all the livid east, or piercing north,

While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.
Thick clouds ascend ; in whose capacious womb

When all aloud the wind doth blow,
A vapory deluge lies, to snow congealed.
Heavy they roll their fleecy world along ;

And coughing drowns the parson's saw,

And birds sit brooding in the snow, And the sky saddens with the gathered storm.

And Marian's nose looks red and raw, Through the hushed air the whitening shower

When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl, descends At first thin wavering ; till at last the flakes

Then nightly sings the staring owl,

To-who ;
Fall broad and wide and fast, dimming the day
With a continual flow. The cherished fields

To-whit, to-who, a merry note,
Put on their winter robe of purest white.

While greasy Joan doth keel the pot. 'T is brightness all ; save where the new snow

melts Along the mazy current. Low the woods Bow their hoar head ; and, ere the languid sun

Faint from the west emits his evening ray,
Earth's universal face, deep hid and chill, ANNOUNCED by all the trumpets of the sky,
Is one wide dazzling waste, that buries wide Arrives the snow; and, driving o'er the fields,
The works of man. Drooping, the laborer-ox Seems nowhere to alight; the whited air
Stands covered o'er with snow, and then demands Hides hills and woods, the river, and the heaven,
The fruit of all his toil. The fowls of heaven, And veils the farm-house at the garden's end.
Tamed by the cruel season, crowd around The sled and traveller stopped, the courier's feet
The winnowing store, and claim the little boon Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates
Which Providence assigns them. One alone,

The redbreast, sacred to the household gods, Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed
Wisely regardful of the embroiling sky, In a tumultuous privacy of storm.
In joyless fields and thorny thickets leaves Come see the north-wind's masonry.
His shivering mates, and pays to trusted man Out of an unseen quarry, evermore
His annual visit. Half afraid, he first

Furnished with tile, the fierce artificer Against the window beats ; then, brisk, alights Curves his white bastions with projected roof On the warm hearth ; then, hopping o'er the Round every windward stake or tree or door ; floor,

Speeding, the myriad-handed, his wild work Eyes all the smiling family askance,

So fanciful, so savage ; naught cares he And pecks, and starts, and wonders where he is : For number or proportion. Mockingly, Till, more familiar grown, the table-crumbs On coop or kennel he hangs Parian wreaths ; Attract his slender feet. The foodless wilds A swan-like form invests the hidden thorn ; Pour forth their brown inhabitants. The hare, Fills up the farmer's lane from wall to wall, Though timorous of heart, and hard beset Maugre the farmer's sighs; and at the gate By death in various forms, dark snares, and dogs, | A tapering turret overtops the work. And more unpitying man, the garden seeks, And when his hours are numbered, and the world Urged on hy fearless Want. The bleating kind is all his own, retiring as he were not, Eye the bleak heaven, and next the glistening Leaves, when the sun appears, astonished Art earth,

To mimic in slow structures, stone by stone, With looks of dumb despair ; then, sad dispersed, Built in an age, the mad wind's night-work, Dig for the withered herb through heaps of snow. The frolic architecture of the snow.




STAND here by my side and turn, I pray,
On the lake below thy gentle eyes;
The clouds hang over it, heavy and gray,
And dark and silent the water lies;
And out of that frozen mist the snow
In wavering flakes begins to flow;
Flake after flake
They sink in the dark and silent lake.

See how in a living swarm they come

From the chambers beyond that misty veil; Some hover awhile in air, and some

Rush prone from the sky like summer hail. All, dropping swiftly or settling slow, Meet, and are still in the depths below; Flake after flake Dissolved in the dark and silent lake.


Here delicate snow-stars, out of the cloud,
Come floating downward in airy play,
Like spangles dropped from the glistening crowd
That whiten by night the Milky Way;
There broader and burlier masses fall;
The sullen water buries them all, -
Flake after flake,
All drowned in the dark and silent lake.
And some, as on tender wings they glide
From their chilly birth-cloud, dim and gray,
Are joined in their fall, and, side by side,

Come clinging along their unsteady way ;
As friend with friend, or husband with wife,
Makes hand in hand the passage of life;
Each mated flake
Soon sinks in the dark and silent lake.
Lo while we are gazing, in swifter haste

Stream down the snows, till the air is white, As, myriads by myriads madly chased,

They fling themselves from their shadowy height.

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But the hurrying host that flew between The cloud and the water no more is seen; Flake after flake

Yet look again, for the clouds divide ;
A gleam of blue on the water lies;
And far away, on the mountain-side,

A sunbeam falls from the opening skies.

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The fair, frail creatures of middle sky,
What speed they make, with their grave so nigh; This is the secret of despair,

Flake after flake
To lie in the dark and silent lake!


Even as our cloudy fancies take

Suddenly shape in some divine expression, Even as the troubled heart doth make

In the white countenance confession,
The troubled sky reveals
The grief it feels.

This is the poem of the air,

Slowly in silent syllables recorded;

Long in its cloudy bosom hoarded,
Now whispered and revealed
To wood and field.





'T Is a fearful night in the winter time, As cold as it ever can be ;

The roar of the blast is heard like the chime Of the waves on an angry sea.





The moon is full ; but her silver light
The storm dashes out with its wings to-night ; He has given the last faint jerk of the rein,
And over the sky from south to north

To rouse up his dying steed;
Not a star is seen, as the wind comes forth And the poor dog howls to the blast in vain
In the strength of a mighty glee.

For help in his master's need.
For a while he strives with a wistful cry

To catch a glance from his drowsy eye,
All day had the snow come down, - all day And wags his tail if the rude winds flap
As it never came down before ;

The skirt of the buffalo over his lap,
And over the hills, at sunset, lay

And whines when he takes no heed.
Some two or three feet, or more ;
The fence was lost, and the wall of stone ;
The windows blocked and the well-curbs gone;

The wind goes down and the storm is o'er,
The haystack had grown to a mountain lift,

"T is the hour of midnight, past; And the wood-pile looked like a monster drift,

The old trees writhe and bend no more As it lay by the farmer's door.

In the whirl of the rushing blast.

The silent moon with her peaceful light The night sets in on a world of snow,

Looks down on the hills with snow all white, While the air grows sharp and chill,

And the giant shadow of Camel's Hump,

The blasted pine and the ghostly stump,
And the warning roar of a fearful blow
Is heard on the distant hill;

Afar on the plain are cast.
And the norther, see ! on the mountain peak

But cold and dead by the hidden log
In his breath how the old trees writhe and shriek !

Are they who came from the town,
He shouts on the plain, ho-ho! ho-ho!
He drives from his nostrils the blinding snow,

The man in his sleigh, and his faithful dog,

And his beautiful Morgan brown,
And growls with a savage will.

In the wide snow-desert, far and grand,
With his cap on his head and the reins in his

hand, Such a night as this to be found abroad,

The dog with his nose on his master's feet, In the drifts and the freezing air,

And the mare half seen through the crusted sleet, Sits a shivering dog, in the field, by the road,

Where she lay when she flounderell down. With the snow in his shaggy hair. He shuts his eyes to the wind and growls ; He lifts his head, and moans and howls ; Then crouching low, from the cutting sleet, His nose is pressed on his quivering feet,

O WINTER, WILT THOU NEVER GOI Pray, what does the dog do there?

O WINTER ! wilt thou never, never go?

O summer! but I weary for thy coming, A farmer came from the village plain,

Longing once more to hear the Luggie flow, But he lost the travelled way ;

And frugal bees, laboriously humming.
And for hours he trod with might and main

Now the east-wind diseases the infirm,
A path for his horse and sleigh ;

And must crouch in corners from rough weather; But colder still the cold winds blew,

Sometimes a winter sunset is a charm, And deeper still the deep drifts grew,

When the fired clouds, compacted, blaze together, And his mare, a beautiful Morgan brown,

And the large sun dips red behind the hills. At last in her struggles floundered down,

I, from my window, can behold this pleasure ; Where a log in a hollow lay.

And the eternal moon what time she fills

Her orb with argent, treading a soft measure, In vain, with a neigh and a frenzied snort,

With queenly motions of a bridal mood,
She plunged in the drifting snow,

Through the white spaces of infinitude.
While her master urged, till his breath grew short, i

With a word and a gentle blow ;
But the snow was deep, and the tugs were tight;
His hands were numb and had lost their might ;

So he wallowed back to his half-filled sleigh,
And strove to shelter himself till day,

THESE, as they change, Almighty Father, these With his coat and the buffalo.

Are but the varied God. The rolling year


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Is full of thee. Forth in the pleasing spring
Thy beauty walks, thy tenderness and love.
Wide flush the fields; the softening air is balm ; | In mingled clouds to him, whose sun exalts,
Echo the mountains round; the forest smiles; Whose breath perfumes you, and whose pencil
And every sense and every heart is joy.
Then comes thy glory in the summer months,
With light and heat refulgent. Then thy sun
Shoots full perfection through the swelling year;
And oft thy voice in dreadful thunder speaks,
And oft at dawn, deep noon, or falling eve,
By brooks and groves in hollow-whispering gales.
Thy bounty shines in autumn unconfined,
And spreads a common feast for all that lives.
In winter awful thou! with clouds and storms
Around thee thrown, tempest o'er tempest rolled,
Majestic darkness! On the whirlwind's wing
Riding sublime, thou bid'st the world adore,
And humblest nature with thy northern blast.
Mysterious round! what skill, what force divine,
Deep felt, in these appear! a simple train,
Yet so delightful mixed, with such kind art,
Such beauty and beneficence combined;
Shade, unperceived, so softening into shade;
And all so forming an harmonious whole,
That, as they still succeed, they ravish still.
But wandering oft, with brute unconscious gaze,
Man marks not thee, marks not the mighty hand,
That, ever busy, wheels the silent spheres ;
Works in the secret deep; shoots, steaming,

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His praise, ye brooks, attune, ye trembling rills;
And let me catch it as I muse along.
Ye headlong torrents, rapid, and profound;
Ye softer floods, that lead the humid maze
Along the vale; and thou, majestic main,
A secret world of wonders in thyself,
Sound his stupendous praise, whose greater


Or bids you roar, or bids your roarings fall.

Soft roll your incense, herbs, and fruits, and flowers,

Ye forests bend, ye harvests wave, to him;
Breathe your still song into the reaper's heart,
As home he goes beneath the joyous moon.
Ye that keep watch in heaven, as earth asleep
Unconscious lies, effuse your mildest beams,
Ye constellations, while your angels strike,
Amid the spangled sky, the silver lyre.
Great source of day! best image here below
Of thy Creator, ever pouring wide,
From world to world, the vital ocean round,
On Nature write with every beam his praise.
The thunder rolls: be hushed the prostrate

While cloud to cloud returns the solemn hymn.
Bleat out afresh, ye hills; ye mossy rocks,
Retain the sound; the broad responsive low,
Ye valleys, raise; for the great Shepherd reigns,
And his unsuffering kingdom yet will come.
Ye woodlands all, awake: a boundless song
Burst from the groves; and when the restless day,
Expiring, lays the warbling world asleep,
Sweetest of birds! sweet Philomela, charm
The listening shades, and teach the night his

Ye chief, for whom the whole creation smiles,
At once the head, the heart, and tongue of all,
Crown the great hymn! in swarming cities vast.
Assembled men to the deep organ join

The long-resounding voice, oft breaking clear,
At solemn pauses, through the swelling bass;
And, as each mingling flame increases each,
In one united ardor rise to heaven.

O, talk of him in solitary glooms!

Where, o'er the rock, the scarcely waving pine
Fills the brown shade with a religious awe.
And ye whose bolder note is heard afar,

Who shake the astonished world, lift high to Or winter rises in the blackening east,


The impetuous song, and say from whom you

Be my tongue mute,- my fancy paint no more,
And, dead to joy, forget my heart to beat!


Should fate command me to the farthest verge
Of the green earth, to distant barbarous climes,
Rivers unknown to song, where first the sun
Gilds Indian mountains, or his setting beam
Flames on the Atlantic isles, - 't is naught to me:
Since God is ever present, ever felt,
In the void waste as in the city full;
And where he vital spreads there must be joy.
When even at last the solemn hour shall come,
And wing my mystic flight to future worlds,

Or if you rather choose the rural shade,
And find a fane in every sacred grove,
There let the shepherd's flute, the virgin's lay,
The prompting seraph, and the poet's lyre,
Still sing the God of seasons as they roll.
For me, when I forget the darling theme,
Whether the blossom blows, the summer ray
Russets the plain, inspiring Autumn gleams,

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I cheerful will obey ; there, with new powers, The cock his crested helmet bent
Will rising wonders sing : I cannot go

And down his querulous challenge sent.
Where Universal Love not smiles around,
Sustaining all yon orbs, and all their suns ; Unwarmed by any sunset light
From seeming evil still educing good,

The gray day darkened into night,
And better thence again, and better still,

night made hoary with the swarm In infinite progression. But I lose

And whirl-dance of the blinding storm,
Myself in him, in light ineffable !

As zigzag wavering to and fro
Come, then, expressive Silence, muse his praise. Crossed and recrossed the wingéd snow :

JAMES THOMSON, And ere the carly bed-time came

The white drift piled the window-frame,

And through the glass the clothes-line posts THE RAINBOW.

Looked in like tall and sheeted ghosts.

My heart leaps up when I behold

A rainbow in the sky;
So was it when my life began,
So is it now I am a man,
So be it when I shall grow old,

Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man ;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.



The sun that brief December day
Rose cheerless over hills of gray,
And, darkly circled, gave at noon
A sadder light than waning moon.
Slow tracing down the thickening sky
Its mute and ominous prophecy,
A portent seeming less than threat,
It sank from sight before it set.
A chill no coat, however stout,
Of homespun stuff could quite shut out,
A hard, dull bitterness of cold,

That checked, mid-vein, the circling race

Of life-blood in the sharpened face,
The coming of the snow-storm told.
The wind blew east : we heard the roar
of Ocean on his wintry shore,
And felt the strong pulse throbbing there
Beat with low rhythm our inland air.

So all night long the storm roared on :
The morning broke without a sun ;
In tiny spherule traced with lines
Of Nature's geometric signs,
In starry flake, and pellicle,
All day the hoary meteor fell ;
And, when the second morning shone,
We looked upon a world unknown,
On nothing we could call our own.
Around the glistening wonder bent
The blue walls of the firmament,
No cloud above, no earth below,
A universe of sky and snow !
The old familiar sights of ours
Took marvellous shapes ; strange domes and towers
Rose up where sty or corn-crib stood,
Or garden wall, or belt of wood ;
A smooth white mound the brush-pile showed,
A fenceless drift what once was road ;
The bridle-post an old man sat
With loose-flung coat and high cocked hat;
The well-curb had a Chinese roof ;
And even the long sweep, high aloof,
In its slant splendor, seemed to tell
Of Pisa's leaning miracle.

Meanwhile we did our nightly chores,
Brought in the wood from out of doors,
Littered the stalls, and from the mows
Raked down the herd's-grass for the cows ;
Heard the horse whinnying for his corn ;
And, sharply clashing horn on horn,
Impatient down the stanchion row's
The cattle shake their walnut bows;
While, peering from his early perch
l'pon the scaffold's pole of birch,

A prompt, decisive man, no breath
Our father wasted : Boys, a path !”
Well pleased, (for when did farmer boy
Count such a summons less than joy ?)
Our buskins on our feet we drew;

With mittened hands, anıl caps drawn low,

To guard our necks and ears from snow,
We cut the solid whiteness through.
And, where the drift was deepest, made
A tunnel walled and overlaid
With dazzling crystal : we had read
of rare Aladdin's wondrous cave,
And to our own his name we gave,
With many a wish the luck were ours
To test his lamp's supernal powers.
We reached the barn with merry din,
And roused the prisoned brutes within.
· The old horse thrust his long head out,

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