When gusts of wind, with rain and sleet,1
Wildly against the casement beat ;2
Past creaking signs the tempest roars,3
And lazy maids let slam the doors :4
Then down the chimney puffs the smoke,5
And nature yields to winter’s yoke.6
When horses’ hoofs, well shod with steel,7
Clang on the frozen earth a peal,8
And shooting-stars attract the eye,9
And northern lights shine flamingly :10
Then winter, with its wondrous might,11
Bridges the rivers in one night.12
When young men stamp to warm their toes,13
And purple turns the drunkard’s nose ;14
When girls are wrapped in endless shawls,15
And slippy roads give hurtful falls :16
Then winter’s snowy mantle’s spread,17
A coverlet on nature’s bed.18
When kine are huddled in the yard,19
And muddy lanes turn crisp and hard ;20
When frost hangs white upon the beard,21
And limbs are numb, and eyes are bleared :22
Then, for the badly clad and poor,23
Cold winter makes the fires roar.24
When deep snow cakes beneath the feet,25
And chilblains itch with burning heat ;26
When starving birds the homestead seek,27
And robin’s voice is low and weak :28
Then sloppy roads, and dripping eaves,29
Tell that cold winter shortly leaves.30