Sunday, January 15, 2017

Winter / Samuel Johnson


Winter

No more the morn, with tepid rays,
  Unfolds the flow'r of various hue;
Noon spreads no more the genial blaze,
  Nor gentle eve distils the dew.

The ling'ring hours prolong the night,
  Usurping darkness shares the day;
Her mists restrain the force of light,
  And Phoebus holds a doubtful sway.

By gloomy twilight, half reveal'd,
  With sighs we view the hoary hill,
The leafless wood, the naked field,
  The snow-topp'd cot, the frozen rill.

No musick warbles through the grove,
  No vivid colours paint the plain;
No more, with devious steps, I rove
  Through verdant paths, now sought in vain.

Aloud the driving tempest roars,
  Congeal'd, impetuous show'rs descend;
Haste, close the window, bar the doors,
  Fate leaves me Stella, and a friend.

In nature's aid, let art supply
  With light and heat my little sphere;
Rouse, rouse the fire, and pile it high,
  Light up a constellation here.

Let musick sound the voice of joy,
  Or mirth repeat the jocund tale;
Let love his wanton wiles employ,
  And o'er the season wine prevail.

Yet time life's dreary winter brings,
  When mirth's gay tale shall please no more
Nor musick charm – though Stella sings;
  Nor love, nor wine, the spring restore.

Catch, then, Oh! catch the transient hour,
  Improve each moment as it flies;
Life's a short summer – man a flow'r:
  He dies – alas! how soon he dies!

~~
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

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