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Poem by John Payne


[Ed. Note: A "vaunt-courier" is one sent in advance 
to prepare the way for another. --Nelson]

THE roofs are dreary with the drifted rime
And in the air a stillness as of death
Th'approach of some portentousness foresaith.
December comes, the tyrant of the time,
Vaunt-courier of the cold hybernal* clime.  [northern]
Mute is the world for misery; no breath
Nor stir of sound there is, that welcometh
The coming of the Winter's woeful prime.
"Alack! Was ever such a thing as Spring?"
We say, hand-holding to the hearths of Yule.
"Did ever roses blow* or throstles sing?"   [bloom]
And in our ears the wild blast shrilleth, "Fool,
That, in this world of ruin and decay,
Thy heart's hopes buildest on the Summer day!" 

John Payne

Poem Theme: December

John Payne's other poems:
  1. The Foredawn Hour
  2. September
  3. July
  4. August
  5. October

Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Christopher Cranch December ("NO more the scarlet maples flash and burn")
  • Ella Wilcox December ("Upon December's windy portico")
  • Ina Coolbrith December ("Now the Summer all is over!")

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