From the Book of Valentines

by Bliss Carman


 

A MIDWINTER MEMORY


 

Now the snow is on the roof,
Now the wind is in the flue,
Beauty, keep no more aloof,
Make my winter dreaming true,
Give my fancy proof.
5

How the year runs back to June,
To the day I saw you first!
In the sultry afternoon
There the mountains lay immersed
In a summer swoon.
10

In the orchard with your book,
I can see you now as then—
That serene and smiling look,
Far away and back again, 
While my spirit shook.
15

Now the frost is on the pane, 
And the winter on the sea, 
Gold across the iron strain, 
Thought of you comes back to me, 
Like a lost refrain.
20

What a voice it was I heard! 
All your j's were soft as d's, 
Like the nest-notes of a bird, 
And your fingers clasped your knees, 
As you smiled each word.
25

Well I knew you for the one
Sought so long and never found,
In this country of the sun,
All these burning summers round.
There, the search was done!
30

Now the dark is at the door; 
Now the snow is on the sill; 
And for all I may deplore, 
Time must have his ancient will— 
Mar one lover more.
35