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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.
Yet though my bashful head hangs low,
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.