An Elegy on Winter in Argyleshire
by Charles Thompson Jr. (1807-1883)
With cheerless gloom and storm-portending clouds
Rude Winter brushes from Antarctic wilds,
The front of Heav’n, in murky vapours shrouds,
Then bursts his sounding freightage o’er our isles.
No more are heard the thrush’s mellow notes,
No more the plover mounts the ev’ning breeze,
No more the soaring lark on ether floats,
Spoil’d of their honours, mourn the leafless trees.
The front of Heav’n, erewhile so bright and gay,
Now scowls on Nature’s universal scene,
And shatt’ring hail, and howling tempests play,
Where wav’d one nodding canopy of green.
No more the brook, in rippling murmurs, glides,
And, with its silver tinkling, soothes the ear,
Nor Wollondilly, smile thy gentle tides,
But swoll’n to torrents, toward ocean bear.’
Thus ’plain’d I, while, by Wollondilly’s stream,
With ling’ring step, I sought my devious way,
A little naiad marked my plaintive theme,
And thus, in chiding numbers, seemed to say:—
‘Why, mortal, mourn’st thou nature’s beauties gone?
Why hang desponding strains upon thy tongue?
Repine not! for a little season flown,
Renewed in loveliness they’ll rise ere long.
When howling Winter’s stormy course is run,
When his chill blasts to northern climes are driven,
Then shall Spring’s blooming bosom greet the Sun,
And joy shine forth from bounty-beaming Heaven.’
Thus sung the nymph, when, from the pebbly bed
O’er which the bubbling stream delights to play,
Adown its maze her airy image fled,
On the bleak gale her accents died away.
As round the earth the changeful seasons roll,
Before the vernal Sun dark vapours fly;
So, from the dust, mounts the aspiring soul
To join her kindred spirits in the sky.