The boughs, the boughs are bare enough
But earth has never felt the snow.
Frost-furred our ivies are and rough
With bills of rime the brambles show.
The hoarse leaves crawl on hissing ground
Because the sighing wind is low.
But if the rain-blasts be unbound
And from dank feathers wring the drops
The clogged brook runs with choking sound
Kneading the mounded mire that stops
His channel under clammy coats
Of foliage fallen in the copse.
A simple passage of weak notes
Is all the winter bird dare try.
The bugle moon by daylight floats
So glassy white about the sky,
So like a berg of hyaline,
And pencilled blue so daintily,
I never saw her so divine.
But through black branches, rarely dressed
In scarves of silky hot and shine,
The webbed and the watery west
Where yonder crimson fireball sets
Looks laid for feasting and for rest.
I see long reefs of violets
In beryl-covered ferns so dim,
A gold-water Pactolus frets
It's brindled wharves and yellow brim,
The waxen colours weep and run,
And slendering to his burning rim
Into the flat blue mist the sun
Drops out and the day is done.