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Robert Southey

(1774 - 1843 / Bristol / England)

Ode Written On The First Of December


Tho' now no more the musing ear
Delights to listen to the breeze
That lingers o'er the green wood shade,
I love thee Winter! well.

Sweet are the harmonies of Spring,
Sweet is the summer's evening gale,
Pleasant the autumnal winds that shake
The many-colour'd grove.

And pleasant to the sober'd soul
The silence of the wintry scene,
When Nature shrouds her in her trance

Not undelightful now to roam
The wild heath sparkling on the sight;
Not undelightful now to pace
The forest's ample rounds;

And see the spangled branches shine,
And mark the moss of many a hue
That varies the old tree's brown bark,
Or o'er the grey stone spreads.

The cluster'd berries claim the eye
O'er the bright hollies gay green leaves,
The ivy round the leafless oak
Clasps its full foliage close.

So VIRTUE diffident of strength
Clings to RELIGION'S firmer aid,
And by RELIGION'S aid upheld
Endures calamity.

Nor void of beauties now the spring,
Whose waters hid from summer sun
Have sooth'd the thirsty pilgrim's ear
With more than melody.

The green moss shines with icey glare,
The long grass bends its spear-like form,
And lovely is the silvery scene
When faint the sunbeams smile.

Reflection too may love the hour
When Nature, hid in Winter's grave,
No more expands the bursting bud
Or bids the flowret bloom.

For Nature soon in Spring's best charms
Shall rise reviv'd from Winter's grave.
Again expand the bursting bud,
And bid the flowret bloom.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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