Bayard Taylor image

Bayard Taylor

Jan. 11, 1825 - Dec 19, 1878


In Winter

by Bayard Taylor

The valley stream is frozen,
The hills are cold and bare,
And the wild white bees of winter
Swarm in the darkened air.

I look on the naked forest:
Was it ever green in June?
Did it burn with gold and crimson
In the dim autumnal noon?

I look on the barren meadow:
Was it ever heaped with hay?
Did it hide the grassy cottage
Where the skylark's children lay?

I look on the desolate garden:
Is it true the rose was there?
And the woodbine's musky blossoms,
And the hyacinth's purple hair?

I look on my heart, and marvel
If Love were ever its own, --
If the spring of promise brightened,
And the summer of passion shone?

Is the stem of bliss but withered,
And the root survives the blast?
Are the seeds of the Future sleeping
Under the leaves of the Past?

Ah, yes! for a thousand Aprils
The frozen germs shall grow,
And the dews of a thousand summers
Wait in the womb of the snow!


The Poet's Journal
Copyright 1863
Ticknor and Fields, Boston