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[33]

Flowers in winter.


Painted upon a Porte Livre.

How strange to greet, this frosty morn,
     In graceful counterfeit of flowers,
These children of the meadows, born
     Of sunshine and of showers!

How well the conscious wood retains
     The pictures of its flower-sown home,
The lights and shades, the purple stains,
     And golden hues of bloom!

It was a happy thought to bring
     To the dark season's frost and rime
This painted memory of spring,
     This dream of summer-time.

Our hearts are lighter for its sake,
     Our fancy's age renews its youth,
And dim-remembered fictions take
     The guise of present truth.

A wizard of the Merrimac,—
     So old ancestral legends say,—
Could call green leaf and blossom back
     To frosted stem and spray.

The dry logs of the cottage wall,
     Beneath his touch, put out their leaves;
The clay-bound swallow, at his call,
     Played round the icy eaves.

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