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A wrinkled crabbed man they picture thee
Old Winter, with a ragged beard as grey
As the long moss upon the apple-tree;
Close muffled up, and on thy dreary way,
Blue lipt, an ice drop at thy sharp blue nose,
Plodding alone thro' sleet and drifting snows.
They should have drawn thee by the high-heapt hearth
Old Winter! seated in thy great arm'd chair,
Watching the children at their Christmas mirth,
Or circled by them as their lips declare
Some merry jest or tale of murder dire,
Or troubled spirit that disturbs the night,
Pausing at times to move the languid fire,
Or taste the old October brown and bright.
I marvel not, O Sun! that unto thee
In adoration man should bow the knee,
And pour the prayer of mingled awe and love;
For like a God thou art, and on thy way
Of glory sheddest with benignant ray,
Beauty and life, and joyaunce from above.
No longer let these mists thy radiance shroud,
These cold raw mists that chill the comfortless day;
But shed thy splendour thro' the opening cloud,
And cheer the earth once more. The languid flowers
Lie odourless, beat down with heavy rain,
Earth asks thy presence, saturate with showers,
O Lord of Light! put forth thy beams again,
For damp and cheerless are the gloomy hours.
Fair be thy fortunes in the distant land
Companion of my earlier years and friend!
Go to that Eastern world, and may the hand
Of Heaven its blessing on thy labour send.
And may I, if we ever more should meet,
See thee with affluence to thy native shore
Return'd;-I need not pray that I may greet
The same untainted goodness as before.
Long years must intervene before that day,
And what the changes Heaven to each may send,
It boots not now to bode. Oh early friend
Assur'd, no distance e'er can wear away
Esteem long rooted, and no change remove
The fond remembrance of the friend we love.
Yes I could listen to the moaning wind,
And, musing, mark November's sullen skies,
With pensive pleasure; nor, with restless sighs,
Accuse the lazy hours that lag, unkind;
Stern Winter's joyless gloom I could beguile ;-
Might but this bosom, cold and cheerless, know, From thy mild influence, Hope, the vernal glow! But Thou hast left me, with Louisa's smile;
Hast flown even then, when least my heart could bear,
Without thy cordial comfort, the sad load
Of sharp solicitude, and doubt and care,
That galls us journeying thro' this mortal road:
Hope, must I never more thy sweet form see;
Or shall I meet my Love's relenting eyes and Thee?
Hail natal Morn! Sweet Hour of Prime, all hail !
Fairest of Days that fill the changeful Year!
Unwonted charms the landscape seems to wear,
And Health ambrosial flies on every gale.
Of Years gone by how short alas the tale!
Full nineteen summer suns their due career
Have sped, since first on this sublunar sphere
I breath'd the breath of life! Yet why bewail?
Still is my youth with rosy pleasure crown'd,
In hues so bright still vivid Fancy glows,
Oft-times her footsteps tread enchanted ground,
And still life's purple tide salubrious flows;
Whilst Hope, gay smiling Syren, hovering round,
O'er Sorrow's louring clouds a golden sunshine throws!