First Snow


The snow lies thick on twig and branch,
A feathery foliage, white and rare.
Beneath this gradual avalanche
The features of the country blanch
And have a wide unwinking stare.

A net of lacework is the copse
Where spiders of the morn have spun
Their webs, now set with frozen drops.
Above the dazzling willow tops
Nature’s smooth foil, the sky, is dun.

The stream like ink flows secretly,
Its banks o’erhanging like a quilt
Of downy whiteness: arching tree
And bridge lean over spectrally,
As if aware of hidden guilt.

Here is true beauty, cold, austere,
Asking no love, aloof, supreme.
Let the warm touch of sun come near
Fades then this rapture – Earth is drear,
Her weeping troubles pool and stream!

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