Winter Morning.

Throughout the watches of the night,1
The feathery snow, in silent flight,2
Has left the regions of its birth,3
And, falling, sought the realms of earth :4
The mantled mountain heaves on high5
Its forehead to the morning sky,6
On which the distant lord of day7
Shoots forth a horizontal ray ; —8
The fields, that lately bloomed and smiled,9
Are flowerless, desolate, and wild,10
Cold as Despair’s unceasing tears,11
And silent as departed years.12
With bending branches hangs the wood,13
A lonely, leafless solitude ;14
The Spirits of the North have swept15
Its pride away, the snows have leapt16
On every dark outstretching bough ;17
And if the passing bird alight,18
With fearful, fluttering pinions, lo !19
Comes down a frequent shower of white,20
Which falls within the roaring stream,21
That rushes on, and hears the call22
That urges to yon waterfall,23
Down, from the inland mountains, down,24
With swelling tide, and waves of brown.25
Look up unto the rocks, on which,26
Beyond the power of mortal reach,27
Falls dashing down the drisly spray,28
And works along its foaming way,29
Thro’ clefts, and o’er the rocks, where sprung30
The water-lilies, bright and young,31
Beneath the willow-boughs, which hung32
Their pendant tresses, like a mother33
Above the cradle of her child,34
When one fond thought succeeds another,35
And Fear is hushed, and Wo beguiled ;36
Behold the crags, the rocks, the shore,37
With icicles are crusted o’er ;38
Ten thousand crystal pillars bright,39
Tinged with the lovely morning light,40
Pendant and twining glitteringly,41
Like amethysts of purple dye ;42
From bank to bank—from rock to rock43
In rows they stretch, as if to mock44
The meagre range—the narrow span45
The pride of art—the hand of man ;46
A passing smile—a holy shrine47
By Nature’s finger wreathed divine ;48
Reared in the lapses of a night,49
And, as the morning chill relents,50
Dissolving in meridian light,51
And mingling with the elements ;52
So, fostered in seclusion, rise53
The dreams of youth—so quickly dies54
The magic rainbow, that o’erhung55
The days to come, when life was young,56
Receding, and illuding ever,57
Like fairy climes by poets sung,58
But in existence welcomed never59