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263.–LET WINTER COME.
WINTER, like every other season, has its appropriate sentiments, but suited to the mood of the poet's mind. It suggests pictures of home comfort:
Let Winter come ! let polar spirits sweep
Even its gloom has its inspiration of solemn musings, such as Burns has beautifully described :—"All I am what the men of the world, if they knew such a man, would call a whimsical mortal, I have various sources of pleasure and enjoyment, which are, in a manner, peculiar to myself, or some here and there such other out-of-the-way person. Such is the peculiar pleasure I take in the season of winter, more than the rest of the year. This, I believe, may be partly owing to my misfortunes giving my mind a melancholy cast : but there is something even in the
Mighty tempest, and the hoary waste,
Abrupt, and deep stretch'd o'er the buried earth, which raises the mind to a serious solemnity, favorable to everything great and noble. There is scarcely any earthly object gives me more—I do not VOL. IV.
know if I should call it pleasure—but something which exalts me, something which enraptures me-than to walk in the sheltered side of a wood, or high plantation, in a cloudy winter day, and hear the stormy wind howling among the trees, and raving over the plain. It is my best season for devotion : my mind is wrapt up in a kind of enthusiasm to Him who, in the pompous language of the Hebrew bard, 'walks on the wings of the wind. In one of these seasons, just after a train of misfortunes, I composed the following :
The wintry west extends his blast,
And hail and rain does blaw:
The blinding sleet and snaw:
And roars frae bank to brae ;
And pass the heartless day.
The sweeping blast, the sky o'ercast,
The joyless winter day,
Than all the pride of May:
My griefs it seems to join ;
Their fate resembles mine!
Thou Pow'r Supreme, whose mighty scheme
These woes of mine fulfil ;
Because they are Thy will !
This one request of mine !)
Assist me to resign.”
Winter calls up the personifications of the painter-poets :
Lastly, came Winter, clothed all in frieze,
Whilst on his hoary beard his breath did freeze,
Winter sets the poetical observer to his natural descriptions :
It was frosty winter season,
“Love is folly, when astray.”-GREENE.
* Geason, rare, uncommon.
With chilling cold had pierced the tender green;
The gladsome groves that now lay overthrown,
The soil that erst so seemly was to seen,
Hawthorn had lost his motley livery;
Myself within, for I was gotten out
The modern bard moralizes on winter in unrhymed lyrics :
Though now no more the musing ear
I love thee, Winter! well.
Sweet are the harmonies of Spring,
The many-color'd grove.
In deep tranquillity.