on a sight that chilled my blood!
'Twas a mass of ice, where an old man stood
On his frozen float; while his shrivelled hand
Had clenched, as a staff by which to stand,
A whitened branch that the blast had broke
From the lifeless trunk of an aged oak.
The icicles hung from the naked limb,
And the old man's eye was sunken and dim.
But his scattering locks were silver bright,
His beard with gathering frost was white;
The tears congealed on his furrowed cheek,
His garb was thin, and the winds were bleak.
He faintly uttered, while drawing near,
"Winter, the death of the short-lived year,
Can yield thee nought, as I downward tend
To the boundless sea, where the Seasons end!
But I trust from others, who've gone before,
Thou'st clothed thy form, and supplied thy store
And now, what tidings am I to bear
Of thee--for I shall be questioned there?"
I asked my mother, who o'er me bent,
What all this show of the Seasons meant?