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HALF-HOURS

WITH

THE BEST AUTHORS.

263.-LET WINTER COME.

WINTER, like every other season, has its appropriate sentiments, but suited to the mood of the poet's mind. It suggests pictures of home comfort:

Let Winter come! let polar spirits sweep

The darkening world, and tempest-troubled deep!
Though boundless snows the wither'd heath deform,
And the dim sun scarce wanders through the storm,
Yet shall the smile of social love repay,

With mental light, the melancholy day!
And, when its short and sullen noon is o'er,
The ice-chain'd waters slumbering on the shore,
How bright the faggots in his little hall

Blaze on the hearth, and warm the pictur'd wall!

CAMPBELL.

Even its gloom has its inspiration of solemn musings, such as Burns has beautifully described :-"As I am what the men of the world, if they knew such a man, would call a whimsical mortal, I have various sources of pleasure and enjoyment, which are, in a manner, peculiar to myself, or some here and there such other out-of-the-way person. Such is the peculiar pleasure I take in the season of winter, more than the rest of the year. This, I believe, may be partly owing to my misfortunes giving my mind a melancholy cast: but there is something even in the

Mighty tempest, and the hoary waste,

Abrupt, and deep stretch'd o'er the buried earth,

VOL. IV.

B

which raises the mind to a serious solemnity, favourable to every thing great and noble. There is scarcely any earthly object gives me more -I do not know if I should call it pleasure-but something which exalts me, something which enraptures me-than to walk in the sheltered side of a wood, or high plantation, in a cloudy winter day, and hear the stormy wind howling among the trees, and raving over the plain. It is my best season for devotion: my mind is wrapt up in a kind of enthusiasm to Him who, in the pompous language of the Hebrew bard, walks on the wings of the wind.' In one of these seasons, just after a train of misfortunes, I composed the following:The wintry west extends his blast,

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And hail and rain does blaw:

Or the stormy north sends driving forth
The blinding sleet and snaw:

While, tumbling brown, the burn comes down,
And roars frae bank to brae ;
And bird and beast in covert rest,
And pass the heartless day.

The sweeping blast, the sky o'ercast,
The joyless winter day,

Let others fear, to me more dear

Than all the pride of May:

The tempest's howl, it soothes my soul,

My griefs it seems to join;

The leafless trees my fancy please,

Their fate resembles mine!

Thou Pow'r Supreme, whose mighty scheme

These woes of mine fulfil;

Here firm I rest, they must be best,

Because they are Thy will!
Then all I want (oh! do thou grant

This one request of mine!)
Since to enjoy thou dost deny,

Assist me to resign."

Winter calls up the personifications of the painter-poets:

Lastly, came Winter clothed all in frieze,

Chattering his teeth for cold that did him chill;

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