I posted these poems separately because they were part of the pass-the-parcel game we played at my book club party, which was a great success, but I thought I would gather them in one post because they do hang together quite nicely, spanning more than four hundred years!
That time of year thou mayst in me behold,
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou seest the twilight of such day,
As after sunset fadeth in the west,
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou seest the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourished by.
This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well, which thou must leave ere long.
Spellbound The night is darkening round me, The wild winds coldly blow; But a tyrant spell has bound me And I cannot, cannot go. The giant trees are bending Their bare boughs weighed with snow. And the storm is fast descending, And yet I cannot go. Clouds beyond clouds above me, Wastes beyond wastes below; But nothing drear can move me; I will not, cannot go. Emily Bronte Now winter nights enlarge Now winter nights enlarge This number of their hours; And clouds their storms discharge Upon the airy towers. Let now the chimneys blaze And cups o'erflow with wine, Let well-tuned words amaze With harmony divine. Now yellow waxen lights Shall wait on honey love While youthful revels, masques, and courtly sights Sleep's leaden spells remove. This time doth well dispense With lovers' long discourse; Much speech hath some defense, Though beauty no remorse. All do not all things well: Some measures comely tread, Some knotted riddles tell, Some poems smoothly read. The summer hath his joys, And winter his delights; Though love and all his pleasures are but toys They shorten tedious nights. Thomas Campion
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening 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. My little horse must think it queer To stop without a farmhouse near Between the woods and frozen lake The darkest evening of the year. He gives his harness bells a shake To ask if there is some mistake. The only other sound's the sweep Of easy wind and downy flake. The woods are lovely, dark, and deep. But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep. Robert Frost
Fishing in Winter A man staring at a small lake sees His father cast light line out over The willows. He's forgotten his Father has been dead for two years And the lake is where a blue fog Rolls, and the sky could be, if it Were black or blue or white, The backdrop of all attention. He wades out to join the father, Following where the good strikes Seem to lead. It's cold. The shape Breath takes on a cold day is like Anything else--a rise on a small lake, The Oklahoma hills, blue scrub-- A shape already inside a shape, Two songs, two breaths on the water. Ralph Burns