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WINTER
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[ Also see Autumn Indian Summer Seasons Snow Spring Summer Weather ]

These Winter nights against my window-pane
  Nature with busy pencil draws designs
    Of ferns and blossoms and fine spray of pines,
      Oak-leaf and acorn and fantastic vines,
        Which she will make when summer comes again--
          Quaint arabesques in argent, flat and cold,
            Like curious Chinese etchings.
      - Thomas Bailey Aldrich, Frost-Work

Let us love winter, for it is the spring of genius.
      - Pietro Aretino

O Winter! bar thine adamantine doors:
  The north is thine; there hast thou build thy dark,
    Deep-founded habitation. Shake not thy roofs,
      Nor bend thy pillars with thine iron car.
      - William Blake, To Winter

When now, unsparing as the scourge of war,
  Blasts follow blasts and groves dismantled roar;
    Around their home the storm-pinched cattle lows,
      No nourishment in frozen pasture grows;
        Yet frozen pastures every morn resound
          With fair abundance thund'ring to the ground.
      - Robert Bloomfield,
        The Farmer's Boy--Winter (st. 2)

Winter is the night of vegetation.
      - Christian Nestell Bovee

And for the season it was winter, and they that know the winters of that country know them to be sharp and violent, and subject to cruel and fierce storms. . . . For summer being done, all things stand upon them with a weather-beaten face, and the whole country, full of woods and thickets, represented a wild and savage hue.
      - William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation

But Winter has yet brighter scenes--he boasts
  Splendors beyond what gorgeous Summer knows.
    Or Autumn with his many fruits, and woods
      All flushed with many hues. Come when the rains
        Have glazed the snow and clothed the trees with ice,
          While the slant sun of February pours
            Into the bowers a flood of light. Approach!
              The incrusted surface shall upbear the steps,
                And the broad arching portals of the grove
                  Welcome thy entering.
      - William Cullen Bryant

Look! the massy trunks
  Are cased in the pure crystal; each light spray,
    Nodding and tinkling in the breath of heaven,
      Is studded with its trembling water-drops,
        That glimmer with an amethystine light.
      - William Cullen Bryant, A Winter Piece
         (l. 66)

Yet all how beautiful! Pillars of pearl
  Propping the cliffs above, stalactites bright
    From the ice roof depending; and beneath,
      Grottoes and temples with their crystal spires
        And gleaming columns radiant in the sun.
      - William Henry Burleigh, Winter

The tendinous part of the mind, so to speak, is more developed in winter; the fleshy, in summer. I should say winter had given the bone and sinew to literature, summer the tissues and the blood.
      - John Burroughs, The Snow-Walkers

Coldly and capriciously the slanting sunbeams fall.
      - Alice Cary

Winter lies too long in country towns; hangs on until it is stale and shabby, old and sullen.
      - Willa Sibert Cather, My Antonia

Over the river and through the wood,
  To grandfather's house we go;
    The horse knows the way
      To carry the sleigh,
        Through the white and drifted snow.
      - Mrs. Lydia Maria Child,
        Flowers for Children--Thanksgiving Day

The frost performs its secret ministry,
  Unhelped by any wind.
      - Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Frost at Midnight
         (l. 1)

Every Fern is tucked and set,
  'Neath coverlet,
    Downy and soft and warm.
      - Susan Coolidge (pseudonym of Sarah Chauncey Woolsey),
        Time to Go

I crown thee king of intimate delights,
  Fireside enjoyments, home-born happiness,
    And all the comforts that the lowly roof
      Of undisturb'd retirement, and the hours
        Of long, uninterrupted evening, know.
      - William Cowper

O Winter! ruler of the inverted year,
  . . . .
    I crown thee king of intimate delights,
      Fireside enjoyments, home-born happiness,
        And all the comforts that the lowly roof
          Of undisturb'd Retirement, and the hours
            Of long uninterrupted evening, know.
      - William Cowper, Task (bk. IV, l. 120)

When winter stern, his gloomy front uprears,
  A sable void the barren earth appears;
    The meads no more their former verdure boast,
      Fast-bound their streams, and all their beauty lost;
        The herds, the flocks, in icy garments mourn, and wildly murmur for the Spring's return;
          From snow-topp'd hills the whirlwinds keenly blow,
            Howl through the woods, and pierce the vales below,
              Through the sharp air a flaky torrent flies,
                Mocks the slow sight, and hides the gloomy skies.
      - George Crabbe

There's a certain Slant of light,
  Winter Afternoons--
    That oppresses, like the Heft
      Of Cathedral Tunes--
      - Emily Dickinson, No. 258

Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,
  Arrives the snow, and, driving o'er the fields,
    Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air
      Hides hills and woods, the river, and the heaven,
        And veils the farmhouse at the garden's end.
          The sled and traveller stopped, the courier's feet
            Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit
              Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed
                In a tumultuous privacy of storm.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Snow-Storm

Come, see the north-wind's masonry,
  Out of an unseen quarry evermore
    Furnished with tile, the fierce artificer
      Curves his white bastions with projected roof
        Round every windward stake, or tree, or door.
          Speeding, the myriad-handed, his wild work
            So fanciful, so savage, naught cares he
              For number or proportion.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Snow-Storm

Whose woods these are I think I know.
  His house is in the village though;
    He will not see me stopping here
      To watch his woods fill up with snow.
      - Robert Lee Frost,
        Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Every mile is two in winter.
      - George Herbert, Jacula Prudentum

There's silence in the harvest field;
  And blackness in the mountain glen,
    And cloud that will not pass away
      From the hill-tops for many a day;
        And stillness round the homes of men.
      - Mary Howitt

'Tis winter, yet there is no sound
  Along the air
    Of winds along their battle-ground;
      But gently there
        The snow is falling,--all around.
      - Ralph Hoyt


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