Saturday, March 5, 2016

The Winter's Walk / Samuel Johnson

The Winter's Walk

Behold my fair where-e'er we rove,
What dreary prospects round us rise,
The naked hill, the leafless grove,
The hoary ground, the frowning skies.

Nor only through the wasted plain,
Stern Winter is thy force confest,
Still wider spreads thy horrid reign,
I feel thy power usurp my breast.

Enlivening hope, and fond desire,
Resign the heart to spleen and care,
Scarce frighted love maintains his fire,
And rapture saddens to despair.

In groundless hope, and causeless fear,
Unhappy man! behold thy doom,
Still changing with the changeful year
The slave of sunshine and of gloom.

Tir'd with vain joys, and false alarms,
With mental and corporeal strife,
Snatch me, my Stella, to thy arms,
And screen me from the ills of life.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)
from The Gentleman's Magazine, May 1747

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Samuel Johnson biography

1 comment:

  1. Although this poem appears in several editions of Johnson's Collected Poems, his authorship has not been definitively proved. The only testimony for that is a 1788 manuscript note by John Ryland, stating that "A Winter's Walk" and 3 other poems had been "given to me by Johnson," which does not rule out another author. See Arthur Sherbo, "Samuel Johnson and Certain Poems in the Gentleman's Magazine," Review of English Studies, 17:68 (Nov. 1966), 382-390.