Monday, December 21, 2015

The winter night is hard as glass / Robert Hillyer


 The winter night is hard as glass;
The frozen stars hang stilly down;
I sit inside while people pass
From the dead-hearted town.

The tavern hearth is deep and wide,
The flames caress my glowing skin;
The icicles hang cold outside,
But I sit warm within.

The faces pass in blurring white
Outside the frosted window, lifting
Eyes against my cheerful night,
From their night of dreadful drifting.

Sharp breaths blow fast in a smoky gale,
Rags wander through the dull lamp light;
O my veins run gold with Christmas ale,
And the tavern fire is bright.

The midnight sky is clear as glass,
The stars hang frozen on the town,
I watch the dying people pass,
And I wrap me warm in my gown.

Robert Hillyer (1895-1961), 1919 
from The Five Books of Youth, 1920 

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada and the United States]

Robert Hillyer biography

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