92 THE BOOK OF CHRISTMAS.
Say not 'tis an unlovely time !
Turn to the wide, white waste thy view;
Turn to the silent hills that rise,
In their cold beauty to the skies ;
And to those skies intensely blue.
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Walk now among the forest trees,—
Saidst thou that they were stripped and bare ?
Each heavy bough is bending down
With snowy leaves and flowers—the crown
Which Winter regally doth wear.
'Tis well—thy summer garden ne'er Was lovelier, with its birds and flowers, Than is this silent place of snow, With feathery branches drooping low, Wreathing around thee shadowy bowers!"
While on the subject of the natural beauties of this season, we must introduce our readers to some admirable verses, which have been furnished to us by our friend Mr. Stoddart, the author of that fine poem the " Death-Wake,"—and in which its peculiar aspects are described with a very graphic pen.—
A WINTER LANDSCAPE.
" The dew-lark sitteth on the ice, beside the reedless rill; The leaf of the hawthorn flutters on the solitary hill; The wild lake weareth on its heart a cold and changed look, And meets, at the lip of its moon-lit marge, the spiritual brook.
Idly basks the silver swan, near to the isle of trees,
And to its proud breast come and kiss the billow and the breeze;
They wash the eider, as they play about the bird of grace,
And boom, in the same slow mood, away, to the moveless mountain-base.
The chieftain-deer, amid the pines, his antlered forehead shows, And scarcely are the mosses bent where that stately one arose ; His step is as the pressure of a light, beloved hand, And he looketh like a poet's dream, in some enchanted land!
A voice of Winter, on the last wild gust of Autumn borne,
Is hurried from the hills afar, like the windings of a horn:
And solemnly and heavily the silver birches groan,
And the old aah waves his wizard hand, to the dim, mysterious tone.