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Woods in Winter
by
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


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When winter winds are piercing chill,
And through the hawthorn blows the gale,
With solemn feet I tread the hill,
That overbrows the lonely vale.

O'er the bare upland, and away
Through the long reach of desert woods,
The embracing sunbeams chastely play,
And gladden these deep solitudes.

Where, twisted round the barren oak,
The summer vine in beauty clung,
And summer winds the stillness broke,
The crystal icicle is hung.

Where, from their frozen urns, mute springs
Pour out the river's gradual tide,
Shrilly the skater's iron rings,
And voices fill the woodland side.

Alas! how changed from the fair scene,
When birds sang out their mellow lay,
And winds were soft, and woods were green,
And the song ceased not with the day!

But still wild music is abroad,
Pale, desert woods! within your crowd;
And gathering winds, in hoarse accord,
Amid the vocal reeds pipe loud.

Chill airs and wintry winds! my ear
Has grown familiar with your song;
I hear it in the opening year,
I listen, and it cheers me long.

 

 

This poem is in the public domain.

Purchase a framed print of this poem.

Most experts would agree that Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was the most popular American poet of the nineteenth century. A family man who suffered much tragedy in his personal life,  Longfellow was the first of a group of writers known as the "Fireside Poets," called such for their popularity with families all over the country who gathered by the fire in the evenings to read the work of these poets aloud. Longfellow published poetry over a forty year period, and enjoyed public adulation in line with that of rock stars and celebrities today.


New comments are closed for now.
gdyefehe:
wouw mait yor spelen iz relliy baade plees fickssc
Posted 04/27/2017 07:20 PM
dotief@comcast.net:
As a Florida girl, I must say that this poem depicts a very dreary world. I am reminded of Wuthering Heights and the moors and the bogs. I prefer the desolate winter beach with crashing waves and birds with flights go no where thanks to the relentless wind. The sound here can be deafening, but at least we will not freeze to death.
Posted 12/29/2012 09:53 AM
rtaylor947@aol.com:
I love the image "frozen urns, mute springs/pour out the river's gradual tide." The whole poem is music. I can see why families "gathered by the fire to read" poetry like this--before radio, TV, video games and so on. It's hard to imagine that happening today.
Posted 12/29/2012 07:41 AM


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