Winter With The Gulf Stream

By Gerard Manley Hopkins

The boughs, the boughs are bare enough,
But earth has not yet felt the snow.
Frost-fringed our ivies are, and rough

With spiked rime the brambles show,
The hoarse leaves crawl on hissing ground,
What time the sighing wind is low.

But if the rain-blasts be unbound,
And from dank feathers wring the drops,
The clogg’d brook runs with choking sound,

Kneading the mounded mire that stops
His channel under clammy coats
Of foliage fallen in the copse.

A single passage of weak notes
Is all the winter bird dare try.
The moon, half-orb’d, ere sunset floats

So glassy-white about the sky,
So like a berg of hyaline,
Pencill’d with blue so daintily—

I never saw her so divine.
But thro’ black branches—rarely drest
In streaming scarfs that smoothly shine,

Shot o’er with lights—the emblazon’d west,
Where yonder crimson fire-ball sets,
Trails forth a purfled-silken vest.

Long beds I see of violets
In beryl lakes which they reef o’er:
A Pactolean river frets

Against its tawny-golden shore:
All ways the molten colours run:
Till, sinking ever more and more

Into an azure mist, the sun
Drops down engulf’d, his journey done.

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