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Enchanted Tulips and Other Verses for Children. Keary, M. (Maud).
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page: 70

WINTER

  • ONE late November eve I stood
  • Beneath an old oak tree,
  • And every one of its yellow leaves
  • Said something sad to me.
  • “We’re tired, we’re old,” they moaned, “and the wind
  • Pinches us cruelly!”
  • The fields looked very bare and still;
  • The river rippling near
  • A word to the willows whispered
  • That made them quake for fear,
  • While every withered blade of grass
  • Hung heavy with a tear.
  • The cattle crouched beneath the hedge;
  • The poor sheep never stirred;
  • page: 71
  • In safest shelter of the wood
  • Sat silent every bird;
  • Only the rooks, in flying home,
  • Made their hoarse voices heard.
  • I thought the Vale—so smiling once—
  • In anger seemed to frown,
  • And wondering what this meant, I looked
  • Across the fallows brown
  • To the far hills, and thence I saw
  • Old Winter coming down.
  • He was not very near—but well
  • That figure gaunt I know;
  • His robe was made of woven mist,
  • His cap of folded snow.
  • I heard the rattling of his bones,
  • With cold they shivered so.
  • His face was withered, stern, and pale,
  • His fingers long and thin,
  • A lantern ’neath his mantle held
  • The Northern Lights within;
  • And prisoned winds in his monstrous bag
  • Set up a fearful din.
page: 72
  • The trees of the forest saw, and tossed
  • Their arms high in the air,
  • The leaves fell quivering to the ground
  • And left the branches bare.
  • The flowers shut their eyes at once
  • And died in mute despair.
  • The river hurrying to the sea
  • Stood still in sheer affright,
  • Valley and hill sent wildly up
  • To Heaven a long good‐night.
  • Winter, ere morn, will bury them
  • In a shroud of ghostly white!

A.K.

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