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TO A COLD BEAUTY,
LADY, wouldst thou heiress be
To Winter's cold and cruel part?
When he sets the rivers free,
Thou dost still lock up thy heart; Thou that shouldst outlast the snow, But in the whiteness of thy brow?
Scorn and cold neglect are made
For winter gloom and winter wind, But thou wilt wrong the summer air,
Breathing it to words unkind, Breath which only should belong To love, to sunlight, and to song !
When the little buds unclose,
Red, and white, and pied, and blue,
Opes her heart to hold the dew,
Let not cold December sit
Thus in Love's peculiar throne ;
But crystal frosts are all agone,
The Autumn skies are flush'd with gold, And fair and bright the rivers run; These are but streams of winter cold, And painted mists that quench the sun.
In secret boughs no sweet birds sing, In secret boughs no bird can shroud ; These are but leaves that take to wing, And wintry winds that pipe so loud.
"Tis not trees' shade, but cloudy glooms
She stood breast high amid the corn, Clasp'd by the golden light of morn, Like the sweetheart of the sun,
Who many a glowing kiss had won.
On her cheek an autumn flush,
Round her eyes her tresses fell,