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Poem by John Payne


THIS is the bitter birth-month of the year.
The sun looms large against the leaden sky,
Rayless and red, as 'twere a giant's eye,
That through the mists of death abroad doth peer:
The fettered earth is dumb for frosty cheer,
Veiling its face to let the blast go by.
Who said, "Spring cometh"? Out upon the lie!
Spring's dead and buried: January's here.
Shut to the door; heap logs upon the fire.
If in your heart there harbour yet some heat,
Some sense of flowers and light and Summer-sweet,
In some half-fabulous dream of days foregone
Remembered, feed withal hope's funeral pyre,
So you may live to look upon the dawn.

John Payne

Poem Theme: Winter

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

Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Robert Bridges January ("Cold is the winter day, misty and dark")
  • Alice Cary January ("THE year has lost its leaves again")

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