Alice Guerin Crist
In Winter - Poem by Alice Guerin Crist
Golden and white in the garden walk,
Chrysanthemums gather their bravest show,
‘Mid withered blossom and wilted stalk
Where never a rosebud dares to blow.
For winter is coming icy and stern
And the grasses rank in the paddocks hold
No plumy rushes or waving fern,
No buttercup treasures of fairy gold.
And on the bough of the peach-tree bare
‘Neath the curtained window open thrown,
All in the chill and frosty air
A little brown bird is singing alone.
Sing on little bird, for the sky grows red
And the night wind is rising cold and chill,
And Death is coming with footsteps dread
To the farmhouse under the lonely hill.
Over the mountain and down by the creek,
Stirring the rushes with icy breath,
Waileth the wind in the tree-tops bleak-
Rustling of wings of the angel of Death.
Sing on little bird from thy throbbing throat
She smiles to hear on her bed of pain;
When thou triest in summer they fuller note
No more will she listen and smile again.
Sing of the land where the roses bloom
In the glorious summer that lasts for aye;
Tell to the soul so near the tomb
What our trembling lips cannot bear to say.
How can we tell her of brighter skies
When faith seems failing and hope is fled?
God pity us all when the chill earth lies
Over the face of our darling dead!
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