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LONG ere the snow-veiled dawn, the bird of morn
Late daylight comes at last, and the strained eye Shrinks from the dazzling brightness of the scene,One wide expanse of whiteness uniform. As yet no wandering footstep has defaced The spotless plain, save where some wounded hare,
Wrenched from the springe, has left a blood-stained
track. How smooth are all the fields ! sunk every fence; The furrow, here and there, heaped to a ridge, O’er which the sidelong plough-shaft scarcely peers.
Cold blows the north-wind o'er the dreary waste. Oye that shiver by your blazing fires, Think of the inmates of yon hut, half sunk Beneath the drift: from it no smoke ascends; The broken straw-filled pane excludes the light, But ill excludes the blast: The redbreast there For shelter seeks, but short, ah ! very
short His stay; no crumbs, strewn careless on the floor, Attract his wistful glance;-to warmer roofs He flies; a welcome,- soon a fearless guest, He cheers the winter day with summer songs.
Short is the reign of day, tedious the night. The city's distant lights arrest my view, And magic fancy whirls me to the scene. There vice and folly run their giddy rounds; There eager crowds are hurrying to the sight Of feigned distress, yet have not time to hear The shivering orphan's prayer. The flaring lamps Of gilded chariots, like the meteor eyes Of mighty giants, famed in legends old,
Illume the snowy street; the silent wheels
The treacherous fowler, in the drifted wreath,
Now to the icy plain the city swarms.