Before the Snow
(after Albert Glatigny)
The winter is upon us, not the snow,
The hills are etched on the horizon bare,
The skies are iron grey, a bitter air,
The meagre cloudlets shudder to and fro.
One yellow leaf the listless wind doth blow,
Like some strange butterfly, unclassed and rare.
Your footsteps ring in frozen alleys, where
The black trees seem to shiver as you go.
Beyond lie church and steeple, with their old
And rusty vanes that rattle as they veer,
A sharper gust would shake them from their hold,
Yet up that path, in summer of the year,
And past that melancholy pile we strolled
To pluck wild strawberries, with merry cheer.
Andrew Lang (1844-1912)
from Ballades in Blue China, 1888
[Poem is in the public domain in Canada, the United States, and the European Union]
Andrew Lang biography