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SKETCH OF A WINTER SCENE.
FEBRUARY 26, 1843.
THE snow fell all night long like thistle-down,
Undriven by any wind: the snake-wreathed urns Upon the terrace were sublimed with snow; The lawn lay blank and dazzling ; and throughout The bleak bare length of the antique ash-trees' arms Smooth strips of snow in lines refulgent ran, With the dark russet bark in contrast viewed, Showing like bands of light glancing along The limbs of mail.clad warriors: yews, and firs, Though changed in hue, retained a show of grief, And bowed beneath the sluggish wintry mass, Low feathering downwards, like the cold white plumes Upon a maiden's hearse who died for love. The holly's fenceful leaves and scarlet fruit Were lost beneath the clustering spheres of snow: The oak put on a foliage new and strange That with the play and fashion of its boughs Harmoniously accorded; and the birch Drooped as in summer, but in light festoons
Of silver, worn for graceful masquerade :
N the green quickset alley found,
Cautious I peep above the ground. A tranquil, soft, and silvery grace Illuminates
downcast face; Like that of some secluded maid Of manhood's liberal gaze
Yet though my bashful head hangs low,
But see! my
SCENE IN THE COUNTY OF WICKLOW.
ORDERING the mountainous and wild way-side
That leads to Glendalough, and Kevin's bed, Renowned in song and legendary lore, I saw a fragment huge of stubborn rock, And hard by stood a cabin: each of each Appeared at first the very counterpart; Alike in outline, magnitude, and hue; Twin offsprings of th' inhospitable soil. The rock lay sullen in its ruggedness, Cold as a pinnacle of northern ice; Massive, obtuse, and fostering nought of life, Save lichens, barely classed with living things, Yet by their hues redeemed from nothingness. But the low cabin stood on cherished ground: The stir of life was there ; and we beheld The azure peat-smoke curling silently From what served as a chimney; on our ears Light footsteps fell, with voices not a few, That told amity,
And all the tender charities of home.