December

By Thomas Wentworth Higginson

The evening sky unseals its quiet fountain,
Hushing the silence to a drowsy rain;
It spreads a web of dimness o’er the plain
And round each meadow tree;
Makes this steep river-bank a dizzy mountain,
And this wide stream a sea.

Stealing from upper headlands of deep mist,
The dark tide bears its icebergs ocean bound,
White shapeless voyagers, by each other kissed,
With rustling, ghostly sound;
The lingering oak-leaves sigh, the birches shiver,
Watching the wrecks of summer far and near,
Where many a dew-drop, frozen on its bier,
Drifts down the dusky river.

I know thee not, thou giant elm, who towerest
With shadowy branches in the murky air;
And this familiar grove, once light and fair,
Frowns, an Enchanted Forest.
Couldst thou not choose some other night to moan,
O hollow-hooting owl?
There needs no spell from thy bewildered soul;
I’m ghost enough alone.