Winter

WINTER’S WAY
The summer, vainly sure of envied praise,
Too wanton, hastes her lavish power to show –
To every dullest eye her charms displays,
But winter scorns to waste her beauty so.

Content is she with art reserved and proud,
To offer to a more discerning sight
Some naked birch against a saffron cloud,
Or, on the snow, a purple evening light.

Overland Monthly – p.402 – May 1907

FROZEN STREAM
Fed and sustained by some deep covert spring,
The brook slides on, beneath its ice and snow;
Sure in its course, a lovely hidden thing,
Swift as a star-fall in its endless flow.

Cold cannot curb; the chilling frost is vain
To check its eager wilderness, or its free
Triumphant force; for nothing can restrain
Its secret changeless impulse toward the sea.

Christian Science Monitor – December 31, 19xx

AS I SIT AND SEW

At home the house is sweet and still
The clock, with small recurring chime,
Marks off the hours. Upon the sill
A tea rose blooms. The rim of rime,

At the pane’s edge, gives hint of cold
Beyond, that sweeps the shining snow;
Within, secure, the walls enfold
Warm silence, as I sit and sew.

I know that as the day grows late,
This poised repose will be no more;
And I shall mend the fire and wait
For children’s voices at the door.

But not, at home, what space is spent
In peace, alone. Oh, precious boon –
The quiet house, the deep content,
Upon a winter’s afternoon!

Published place and date unknown

SHUT IN

The crimson blossom on my window-sill,
The bit of blue beyond the shaded glass,
A long-loved book – these have sufficed to fill
The somber hours that slowly fade and pass.

But one day soon my heart shall know a thing
Of grace and joy, – a freshness in the air,
A far-off call: I shall divine the spring
Pervading all my tiny world four-square.

Ah, then the need of patience! Can I lie
Inert, serene, when out beyond the town
The wild crab-tree flings perfume to the sky,
And song is as a shower, dripping down?

Then day by day will murmur, ever new,
My deep-hid longing, over-hard to still:
But now – I have my book, my bit of blue,
My crimson blossom on the window-sill.