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Winter’s barren beauty

Winter’s barren beauty steals
across the land beneath a shroud
of lingering death,
unseen by human eye
and waits until my soul awakes
from ancient fronds of sleep
to muse alone in sad content
where no man dares to walk,
lest fear the heart should slowly chill
and all be lost for nought.

Here crowd the trees into a copse
and huddle close for warmth;
there runs the fox and bay the hounds,
now horses bellow steam:
the blackbird’s cry
is frozen on the wind
as now he moans along the hedge
and ’twixt the frosty bars,
where pass the Summer harvesters
from barley to the rye.

Now bare, the ancient highwaymen
that line the icy roads,
as cold as pallid ghosts,
are shivering now;
their arms are saddened
by Winter’s song
that calls unceasing through the night
for death to take his dues;
poor human hearts are hid’ away
within their city homes.

They dare not lift their eyes with mine
upon this wintry awe,
for he will sap away their strength,
their naked bodies freeze
and who will dig an iron grave
to rest their mortal bones?
For me alone
and I for thee
were made we both, oh Winter love -
freeze me to eternity!