Winter's Fete

Dublin Core


Winter's Fete


I woke, and every lordling of the grove
Was clad in diamonds, and the lowliest shrub
Did wear its crest of brilliants gallantly.
The swelling hillocks, with their woven vines,
The far seen forest, and the broken hedge,
Yea, every thicket gleam'd in bright array,
As for some gorgeous fete of fairy land.
- Ho! - jewel-keeper of the hoary north,
Whence hast thou all these treasures? - Why, the

Of rich Golconda, since the world was young,
Would fail to furnish such a glorious show.
The queen, who to her coronation comes,
With half a realm's exchequer on her head,
Dazzleth the shouting crowd. But all the queens,
Who since old Egypt's buried dynasty,
Have here and there, amid the mists of time,
Lifted their tiny sceptres, all the throng
Of peeresses, who at some birth-night flaunt,
Might boast no moiety of the gems thy hand
So lavishly hath strewn o'er this old tree,
Fast by my window. -

Every noteless spray,

Even the coarse sumach, and the bramble bush,
Do sport their diadems, as if, forsooth,
Our plain republic, in a single night
Put forth such growth of aristocracy
That no plebeian in the land was left
Uncoroneted. Broider'd frost work wraps
Yon stunted pear-tree, whose ne'er ripen'd fruit,
Acid and bitter, every truant-boy
Blam'd with set teeth. Lo! while I speak its crown
Kindleth in bossy crimson, and a stream
Of Tyrian purple, blent with emerald spark
Floats round its rugged arms; while here and there,
Gleams out a living sapphire, 'mid a knot
Of trembling rubies, whose exquisite ray
O'erpowers the astonish'd sight.

One arctic queen,

For one ice-palace, rear'd with fearful toil,
And soon dissolving, scrupled not to pay
Her vassal's life - and emperors of old
Have drained their coffers for the people's gaze,
Though but a single amphitheatre
Compress'd the crowd. But thou, whose potent wand
Call'd forth such grand enchantment, swift as
And silent as a vision, and canst spread
Its wondrous beauty to each gazing eye
Nor be the poorer, thou art scorn'd and bann'd,
'Mid all thy beauty. Summer scantily sheds
A few brief dew-drops, for the sun to dry,
And wins loud praise from every piping swain
For a proud fete.

Yet, certes, in these days,

When Wealth is so esteem'd that he who boasts
The largest purse, is sure the wisest man,
Winter, who thus affords to sprinkle gems
Mile after mile, on all the landscape round,
And decks his new-made peers in richer robes
Than monarch ever gave, deserves more thanks
Than to be called rude churl, and miser old.
- I tell thee he's a friend - and LOVE, who sits
So quiet in the corner, whispering long
In beauty's ear, by the bright evening fire,
Shall join my verdict. Yes, the King of Storms,
So long decried, hath revenue more rich
Than sparkling diamonds.

Look within thy heart,

When the poor shiver in their snow-wreath'd cell,
Or the sad orphan mourns; and if thou find
An answering pity, and a fervent deed
Done in Christ's name, doubt not to be an heir
Of that true wealth, which Winter hoardeth up,
To buy the soul a mansion with the blest.


Mrs. L.H. Sygourney (Lydia Huntley Sigourney)


New Series 1:7, p. 4




Mrs. L.H. Sygourney (Lydia Huntley Sigourney), “Winter's Fete,” Periodical Poets, accessed April 14, 2024,


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