Verse > Anthologies > Andrew Macphail, ed. > The Book of Sorrow
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Andrew Macphail, comp.  The Book of Sorrow.  1916.
 
XXVI. Melancholy
First Snow
By John Talon-Lespérance (1835–1891)
 
    THE SUN burns pale and low
Along the gloomy avenue of pines,
And the grey mist hangs heavily in lines
    Above the torrent’s flow.
 
    I hear, on the violet hill,        5
The caw of blackbirds fleeing from the cold;
And buzz of insects, hiding in the mould,
    Under the ruined mill.
 
    The deep embrownèd wood
Is garlanded with wreaths of fleecy white;        10
And the stark poplar stands, a Northland sprite,
    Muffled in snowy hood.
 
    Aye! but chief, on thy headstone,
Who slept ’neath summer roses, cold flakes rest,
And filter icy drops upon thy breast,—        15
    Thy tender breast,—my own.
 
    While on my drooping head—
Yes, on my sunken heart, distils the snow,
Chilling the warmth and life that in it glow,
    In pity for my dead!        20
 
    Not till the crocus bloom,
And April rays have thawed the frost-bound slope,
O Rita, shall this heart to light reope,
    With the flowers on thy tomb!
 
 
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