45 Greatest Poems about Winter

Same as autumn, winter is the other season that we don’t experience in my country. I always watch Christmas movies in other countries, and the thing I’m really interested in the most is when I see families throwing snowballs at each other. Some children are ice skating and building a snowman. Animals are playing with the snow and many more activities that people enjoy doing in winter. I also want to experience all of those someday with my family.

These are forty-five (45) greatest poems about winter. If you also like this season, these poems are for you.

Keep reading!


When winter chills your aged bones
As by the fire you sit and nod,
You’ll hear a passing wind that moans,
And think of one beneath the sod.

You’ll feebly sleek your hair of grey,
And mutter words that none may know,
And dream you touch the sodden clay
That laps the dream of long ago.

The shrinking ash may fall apart
And show a gleam that lingers yet.
A moment in your cooling heart
May shine a sparkle of regret.

And where the pit is chill and deep,
And bones are mouldering in the clay,
A thrill of buried love will creep
And shudder aimlessly away.

John Le Gay Brereton


The flute, whence Summer’s dreamy fingertips
Drew music, ripening the pinched kernels in
The burly chestnut and the chinquapin,
Red-rounding-out the oval haws and hips,
Now Winter crushes to his stormy lips,
And surly songs whistle around his chin;
Now the wild days and wilder nights begin
When, at the eaves, the crooked icicle drips.
Thy songs, O Summer, are not lost so soon!
Still dwells a memory in thy hollow flute,
Which unto Winter’s masculine airs doth give
Thy own creative qualities of tune,
Through which we see each bough bend white with fruit,
Each bush with bloom, in snow commemorative.

Madison Julius Cawein


The small wind whispers through the leafless hedge
Most sharp and chill, where the light snowy flakes
Rest on each twig and spike of wither’d sedge,
Resembling scatter’d feathers;–vainly breaks
The pale split sunbeam through the frowning cloud,
On Winter’s frowns below–from day to day
Unmelted still he spreads his hoary shroud,
In dithering pride on the pale traveller’s way,
Who, croodling, hastens from the storm behind
Fast gathering deep and black, again to find
His cottage-fire and corner’s sheltering bounds;
Where, haply, such uncomfortable days
Make musical the wood-sap’s frizzling sounds,
And hoarse loud bellows puffing up the blaze.

John Clare


Winter, some call thee fair,
Yea! flatter thy cold face
With vain compare
Of all thy glittering ways
And magic snows
With summer and the rose;
Thy phantom flowers
And fretted traceries
Of crystal breath,
Thy frozen and fantastic art of death,
With April as she showers
The violet on the leas,
And bares her bosom
In the blossoming trees,
And dances on her way
To laugh with May –
Winter that hath no bird
To sing thee, and no bloom
To deck thy brow:
To me thou art an empty haunted room,
Where once the music
Of the summer stirred,
And all the dancers
Fallen on silence now.

Richard Le Gallienne


A dog shrieks in misery from a bridge
To heaven… which stands like old gray stone
Upon far-off houses. And, like a rope
Made of tar, a dead river lies on the snow.
Three trees, black frozen flames, make threats
At the end of the earth. They pierce
With sharp knives the rough air,
In which a scrap of bird hangs all alone.
A few street lights wade towards the city,
Extinguished candles for a corpse. And a smear
Of people shrinks together and is soon
Drowned in the wretched white swamp.

Alfred Lichtenstein


Majestic King of storms! around
Thy wan and hoary brow
A spotless diadem is bound
Of everlasting snow:
Time, which dissolves all earthly things,
O’er thee hath vainly waved his wings!

The sun, with his refulgent beams,
Thaws not thy icy zone;
Lord of ten thousand frozen streams,
That sleep around thy throne,
Whose crystal barriers may defy
The genial warmth of summer’s sky.

What human foot shall dare intrude
Beyond the howling waste,
Or view the untrodden solitude,
Where thy dark home is placed;
In those far realms of death where light
Shrieks from thy glance and all is night?

The earth has felt thine iron tread,
The streams have ceased to flow,
The leaves beneath thy feet lie dead,
And keen the north winds blow:
Nature lies in her winding sheet
Of dazzling snow, and blinding sleet.

Thy voice has chained the troubled deep;
Within thy mighty hand,
The restless world of waters sleep
On Greenland’s barren strand.
Thy stormy heralds, loud and shrill,
Have bid the foaming waves lie still.

Where lately many a gallant prow
Spurned back the whitening spray,
An icy desert glitters now,
Beneath the moon’s wan ray:
Full many a fathom deep below
The dark imprisoned waters flow.

How gloriously above thee gleam
The planetary train,
And the pale moon with clearer beam
Chequers the frost-bound plain;
The sparkling diadem of night
Circles thy brow with tenfold light.

I love thee not–yet when I raise
To heaven my wondering eyes,
I feel transported at the blaze
Of beauty in the skies,
And laud the power that, e’en to thee,
Hath given such pomp and majesty!

I turn and shrink before the blast
That sweeps the leafless tree,
Careering on the tempest past,
Thy snowy wreath I see;
But Spring will come in beauty forth
And chase thee to the frozen north!

Susanna Moodie


With my breath so keen and chilling,
I have stripped the branches bare;
And my snow-flakes white are filling,
Feather-like, the frosty air.

Coming o’er the lofty mountains,
There I left a robe of white;
I have locked the sparkling fountains,
I have chained the river bright.

O’er the quiet valley winging,
There I left my traces, too;
Hark! the merry sleigh-bells ringing,
With their music call on you.

I have come! The school-boy shouting,
Joyfully brings out his sled;
He has seen me, nothing doubting,
As across the fields he sped.

I have come; but shall I find you
Better than the former year?
If you’ve cast your faults behind you,
I shall gladly greet you here.

H. P. Nichols


Clouded with snow
The cold winds blow,
And shrill on leafless bough
The robin with its burning breast
Alone sings now.

The rayless sun,
Day’s journey done,
Sheds its last ebbing light
On fields in leagues of beauty spread
Unearthly white.

Thick draws the dark,
And spark by spark,
The frost-fires kindle, and soon
Over that sea of frozen foam
Floats the white moon.

Walter De La Mare


Green Mistletoe!
Oh, I remember now
A dell of snow,
Frost on the bough;
None there but I:
Snow, snow, and a wintry sky.

None there but I,
And footprints one by one,
Where I had run;
Where shrill and powdery
A robin sat in the tree.

And he whistled sweet;
And I in the crusted snow
With snow-clubbed feet
Jigged to and fro,
Till, from the day,
The rose-light ebbed away.

And the robin flew
Into the air, the air,
The white mist through;
And small and rare
The night-frost fell
In the calm and misty dell.

And the dusk gathered low,
And the silver moon and stars
On the frozen snow
Drew taper bars,
Kindled winking fires
In the hooded briers.

And the sprawling Bear
Growled deep in the sky;
And Orion’s hair
Streamed sparkling by:
But the North sighed low,
“Snow, snow, more snow!”

Walter De La Mare


His thundering car
Is heard from afar,
And his trumpet notes sound
All the country around;
Stop your ears as you will,
That loud blast and shrill
Is heard by you still.
Borne along by the gale,
In his frost coat of mail,
Midst snow, sleet, and hail,
He comes without fail,
And drives all before him,
Though men beg and implore him
Just to let them take breath,
Or he’ll drive them to death.
But he comes in great state,
And for none will he wait,
Though he sees their distress
Yet he spares them no less,
For the cold stiff limb
Is nothing to him;
And o’er countless blue noses,
His hard heart he closes.
His own children fear him
And dare not come near him;
E’en his favorite child[4]
Has been known to run wild
At his too near approach,
Her fear of him such,
And to shriek and to howl
And return scowl for scowl.
Indeed few dare him face,
And all shun his embrace;
For though pleasant his smile,
Yet one thinks all the while
Of that terrible frown,
Which the hardiest clown,
Though a stout hearted man,
Will avoid if he can.
And though many maintain
That he gives needless pain,
I confess I admire
This venerable sire.
True his language is harsh,
And his conduct oft rash,
And we know well enough,
That his manners are rough;
Yet still in the main,
We’ve no right to complain,
For if we prepare for him,
And show that we care for him,
We may in him find
A true friend and kind.
With us he will stay
Three months to a day,
So let us prepare
The snug elbow chair,
Which placed by the fire
For the hoary-head sire,
May comfort impart
And cheer his old heart.
Though he seems so unkind,
Yet always you’ll find
That his cold heart will warm,
And he’ll do you no harm
If your own can but feel
For your poor neighbor’s weal;
And with pity o’erflowing,
Your free alms bestowing,
Never closing your door
On the suffering poor;
But clothe, feed, and warm them,
And see that none harm them.
E’en to others just do
As you’d wish them by you.
Let’s adopt but this plan,
To do good when we can,
And the dark stormy day
Will full quick pass away,
And we never complain
Of cold weather again,
Or of tedious long hours,
That are spent within doors;
For when winter winds blow,
And we’re hedged up by snow,
We shall find full employment,
And lack no enjoyment.
Thus prepared, let him come,
He will find us at home;
Bring wind, hail, or snow,
Blow high, or blow low,
We’re prepared for him now.
Then come winter, come,
You’ll find us at home.

Nov. 5, 1852.

There is within this heart of mine,
An aching void earth ne’er can fill;
I’ve tried its joys, its friendships proved,
But felt that aching void there still.

Thy love alone, my Saviour God,
True satisfaction can impart;
Can fill this aching void I feel,
And give contentment to my heart.

Oh! cheer me by thy presence, Lord,
Increase my faith an hundred fold;
Be thy name on my forehead found,
Mine in thy book of life enrolled.
Dec. 19, 1862.

Mary Ann H. T. Bigelow

Winter. A Dirge.

The wintry west extends his blast,
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,”[1]
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 Power 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 (O, do thou grant
This one request of mine!)
Since to enjoy Thou dost deny,
Assist me to resign!

Robert Burns

Winter and Summer

In Winter when the air is chill,
And winds are blowing loud and shrill,
All snug and warm I sit and purr,
Wrapped in my overcoat of fur.

In Summer quite the other way,
I find it very hot all day,
But Human People do not care,
For they have nice thin clothes to wear.

And does it not seem hard to you,
When all the world is like a stew,
And I am much too warm to purr,
I have to wear my Winter Fur?

Oliver Herford

Winter At St. Andrews

The city once again doth wear
Her wonted dress of winter’s bride,
Her mantle woven of misty air,
With saffron sunlight faintly dyed.
She sits above the seething tide,
Of all her summer robes forlorn–
And dead is all her summer pride–
The leaves are off Queen Mary’s Thorn.

All round, the landscape stretches bare,
The bleak fields lying far and wide,
Monotonous, with here and there
A lone tree on a lone hillside.
No more the land is glorified
With golden gleams of ripening corn,
Scarce is a cheerful hue descried–
The leaves are off Queen Mary’s Thorn.

For me, I do not greatly care
Though leaves be dead, and mists abide.
To me the place is thrice as fair
In winter as in summer-tide:
With kindlier memories allied
Of pleasure past and pain o’erworn.
What care I, though the earth may hide
The leaves from off Queen Mary’s Thorn?

Thus I unto my friend replied,
When, on a chill late autumn morn,
He pointed to the tree, and cried,
‘The leaves are off Queen Mary’s Thorn!’

Robert Fuller Murray

A Winter Blue Jay

Crisply the bright snow whispered,
Crunching beneath our feet;
Behind us as we walked along the parkway,
Our shadows danced,
Fantastic shapes in vivid blue.
Across the lake the skaters
Flew to and fro,
With sharp turns weaving
A frail invisible net.
In ecstasy the earth
Drank the silver sunlight;
In ecstasy the skaters
Drank the wine of speed;
In ecstasy we laughed
Drinking the wine of love.
Had not the music of our joy
Sounded its highest note?
But no,
For suddenly, with lifted eyes you said,
“Oh look!”
There, on the black bough of a snow flecked maple,
Fearless and gay as our love,
A bluejay cocked his crest!
Oh who can tell the range of joy
Or set the bounds of beauty?

Sara Teasdale

Winter. Calling Up His Legions.


Awake–arise! all my stormy powers,
The earth, the fair earth, again is ours!
At my stern approach, pale Autumn flings down
In the dust her broken and faded crown;
At my glance the terrified mourner flies,
And the earth is filled with her doleful cries.
Awake!–for the season of flowers is o’er,–
My white banner unfurl on each northern shore!
Ye have slumbered long in my icy chain–
Ye are free to travel the land and main.
Spirits of frost! quit your mountains of snow–
Will ye longer suffer the streams to flow?
Up, up, and away from your rocky caves
And herald me over the pathless waves!

He ceased, and rose from his craggy throne
And girt around him his icy zone;
And his meteor-eye grew wildly bright
As he threw his glance o’er those realms of night.
He sent forth his voice with a mighty sound,
And the snows of ages were scattered around;
And the hollow murmurs that shook the sky
Told to the monarch, his band was nigh.


I come o’er the hills of the frozen North,
To call to the battle thy armies forth:
I have swept the shores of the Baltic sea,
And the billows have felt my mastery;
They resisted my power, but strove in vain–
I have curbed their might with my crystal chain.
I roused the northwind in his stormy cave,
Together we passed over land and wave;
I sharpened his breath and gave him power
To crush and destroy every herb and flower;
He obeyed my voice, and is rending now
The sallow leaves from the groaning bough;
And he shouts aloud in his wild disdain,
As he whirls them down to the frozen plain:
Those beautiful leaves to which Spring gave birth
Are scattered abroad on the face of the earth.
I have visited many a creek and bay,
And curdled the streams in my stormy way;
I have chilled into hail the genial shower:–
All this I have done to increase thy power.


I stood by the stream in the deep midnight.
The moon through the fog shed a misty light;
I arrested the vapours that floated by,
And wove them in garlands and hung them on high;
I bound the trees in a feathery zone,
And turned the soft dews of heaven to stone;
I spangled with gems every leaf and spray,
As onward I passed on my noiseless way;
And I came to thee when my work was done,
To see how they shone in the morning sun!


I have borne the clouds on my restless wings,
And my sullen voice through the desert rings;
I sent through the forest a rushing blast,
And the foliage fled as I onward passed
From the desolate regions of woe and death,
In adamant bound by my freezing breath:
From the crystal mountains where silence reigns,
And nature sleeps on the sterile plains,
I have brought the snow from thy mighty store
To whiten and cover each northern shore.


I woke like a giant refreshed with sleep,
And lifted the waves of the troubled deep;
I clouded the heavens with vapours dark,
And rolled the tide o’er the foundering bark,
Then mocked in hoarse murmurs the hollow cry
Of the drowning wretch in his agony:
I have leagued with the North to assert thy right
On the land and the wave both by day and by night!


I heard thy summons and hastened fast,
And floated hither before the blast,
To wave thy white banner o’er tower and town,
O’er the level plain and the mountain brown.
I have crowned the woods with a spotless wreath,
And loaded the avalanche with death;
I have wrapped the earth in a winding sheet,
And Nature lies dead beneath my feet.


All hail, mighty monarch! our tasks are o’er;
Thy power is confessed on each northern shore;
From the rock’s stern brow to the rolling sea
The spirits of earth have bowed to thee.
In the cradle of Nature the young Spring lies
With the slumber of death on her azure eyes;
And we wander at will through the wide domain,
Which in beauty and verdure shall flourish again,
When she bursts from her shroud like a sun-beam forth
‘To chase us back to the frozen North!’

With darkness and storms for thy panoply,
Stern Winter, what power may contend with thee?
Thy sceptre commands both the wind and the tide,
And thy empire extends over regions wide;
With thy star-gemmed crown and eagle wings,
The strongest of nature’s potent kings!
But thy power for a season alone is lent,
Thou art but a ministering spirit sent
By the mighty Creator of thine and thee,
Who fills with his presence immensity!

Susanna Moodie

Winter Comes

Winter scourges his horses
Through the North,
His hair is bitter snow
On the great wind.
The trees are weeping leaves
Because the nests are dead,
Because the flowers were nests of scent
And the nests had singing petals
And the flowers and nests are dead.

Your voice brings back the songs
Of every nest,
Your eyes bring back the sun
Out of the South,
Violets and roses peep
Where you have laughed the snow away
And kissed the snow away,
And in my heart there is a garden still
For the lost birds.

Song of Daghestan.

Edward Powys Mathers (As Translator)

Winter Days

“These winter days,” my father says,
“When mornings blow and bite and freeze,
And hens sit cackling in the straw,
Stiff with the frost as gates that wheeze,
Remind me of my youth when, raw,
The day broke and, beneath the trees,
Wild winds would twist,
I went to work with axe and saw,
Or stopped to blow my mittened fist.

“These winter noons,” my father croons,
“When eggs, the hens have hardly laid,
Crack open with the cold; and cows
Drink through the hole a heel has made,
Some rustic in his huddled blouse,
Bring back the noons when, with a spade,
Down on the farm,
I pathed the snow from barn to house,
And beat my arms to keep me warm.

“These winter nights,” so he recites,
“With those old nights are right in tune,
When cocks crew out the hours till dawn
And all night long the owlet’s croon
Quavered and quivered far withdrawn;
And cold beneath the freezing moon
The old fox-hound
Bayed where the icicles glittered wan,
And all the old house slumbered sound.”

Madison Julius Cawein

Winter Dusk

I watch the great clear twilight
Veiling the ice-bowed trees;
Their branches tinkle faintly
With crystal melodies.
The larches bend their silver
Over the hush of snow;
One star is lighted in the west,
Two in the zenith glow.
For a moment I have forgotten
Wars and women who mourn,
I think of the mother who bore me
And thank her that I was born.

Sara Teasdale

Winter Dusk

Dark frost was in the air without,
The dusk was still with cold and gloom,
When less than even a shadow came
And stood within the room.

But of the three around the fire,
None turned a questioning head to look,
Still read a clear voice, on and on,
Still stooped they o’er their book.

The children watched their mother’s eyes
Moving on softly line to line;
It seemed to listen too—that shade,
Yet made no outward sign.

The fire-flames crooned a tiny song,
No cold wind stirred the wintry tree;
The children both in Faërie dreamed
Beside their mother’s knee.

And nearer yet that spirit drew
Above that heedless one, intent
Only on what the simple words
Of her small story meant.

No voiceless sorrow grieved her mind,
No memory her bosom stirred,
Nor dreamed she, as she read to two,
’Twas surely three who heard.

Yet when, the story done, she smiled
From face to face, serene and clear,
A love, half dread, sprang up, as she
Leaned close and drew them near.

Walter De La Mare

Winter Dusk

The prospect is bare and white,
And the air is crisp and chill;
While the ebon wings of night
Are spread on the distant hill.

The roar of the stormy sea
Seem the dirges shrill and sharp
That winter plays on the tree –
His wild aeolian harp.

In the pool that darkly creeps
In ripples before the gale,
A star like a lily sleeps
And wiggles its silver tail.

R. K. Munkittrick.

R. K. Munkittrick

Winter Evening

To-night the very horses springing by
Toss gold from whitened nostrils. In a dream
The streets that narrow to the westward gleam
Like rows of golden palaces; and high
From all the crowded chimneys tower and die
A thousand aureoles. Down in the west
The brimming plains beneath the sunset rest,
One burning sea of gold. Soon, soon shall fly
The glorious vision, and the hours shall feel
A mightier master; soon from height to height,
With silence and the sharp unpitying stars,
Stern creeping frosts, and winds that touch like steel,
Out of the depth beyond the eastern bars,
Glittering and still shall come the awful night.

Archibald Lampman

Winter Evening

Behind yellow windows shadows drink hot tea.
Yearning people sway on a hardened pond
Workers find a soft woman’s corpse.
Glowing blue snows cast a howling darkness.
On high poles a scarecrow, implored, hangs.
Stores flicker dimly through frosted windows,
In front of which human bodies move like ghosts.
Students carve a frozen girl.
How lovely, the crystalline winter evening burning!
A platinum moon now streams through a gap in the houses.
Next to green lanterns under a bridge
Lies a gypsy woman. And plays an instrument.

Alfred Lichtenstein

Winter Evening At Home

Fair Moon, that at the chilly day’s decline
Of sharp December through my cottage pane
Dost lovely look, smiling, though in thy wane!
In thought, to scenes, serene and still as thine,
Wanders my heart, whilst I by turns survey
Thee slowly wheeling on thy evening way;
And this my fire, whose dim, unequal light,
Just glimmering, bids each shadowy image fall
Sombrous and strange upon the darkening wall,
Ere the clear tapers chase the deepening night!
Yet thy still orb, seen through the freezing haze,
Shines calm and clear without; and whilst I gaze,
I think, around me in this twilight room,
I but remark mortality’s sad gloom;
Whilst hope and joy cloudless and soft appear,
In the sweet beam that lights thy distant sphere.

William Lisle Bowles

Winter Fancies


Winter without
And warmth within;
The winds may shout
And the storm begin;
The snows may pack
At the window pane,
And the skies grow black,
And the sun remain
Hidden away
The livelong day –
But here – in here is the warmth of May!


Swoop your spitefullest
Up the flue,
Wild Winds – do!
What in the world do I care for you?
O delightfullest
Weather of all,
Howl and squall,
And shake the trees till the last leaves fall!


The joy one feels,
In an easy chair,
Cocking his heels
In the dancing air
That wreathes the rim of a roaring stove
Whose heat loves better than hearts can love,
Will not permit
The coldest day
To drive away
The fire in his blood, and the bliss of it!


Then blow, Winds, blow!
And rave and shriek,
And snarl and snow
Till your breath grows weak –
While here in my room
I’m as snugly shut
As a glad little worm
In the heart of a nut!

James Whitcomb Riley

Winter Flowers.

The summer queen has many flowers
To deck her sunny hair,
And trailing grasses, pure and sweet,
To scent the heavy air;
And upward through the misty sky
There is a glory too,
Of floating clouds and rifts of gold
And depths of smiling blue.

Yet winter, too, can boast a wealth
Of flowers pure and white;
A kingly crown of frosted gems–
A wreath of sparkling light;
So bright and beautiful, indeed,
It were a wondrous sight
To see a world of fragile flowers
Sprung up within a night.

And sometimes there are cast’es, too,
Of glittering ice and snow,
Piled high upon our window-panes
‘Neath curtains hanging low;
And they are like the castles fair
Our day-dreams build for aye;
A frozen mist that one warm breath
May quickly drive away.

And yet, how beautiful they are,
These flowers of our breath;
That bloom when not a leaf is left
To mourn the summer’s death.
And oh! how wondrous are the things
That God has given the earth;
The day that brings to one a death
Smiles on another’s birth.

Fannie Isabelle Sherrick

Winter In Canada.

Nay tell me not that, with shivering fear,
You shrink from the thought of wintering here;
That the cold intense of our winter-time
Is severe as that of Siberian clime,
And, if wishes could waft you across the sea,
You, to-night, in your English home would be.

Remember, no hedges there now are bright
With verdure, or blossoms of hawthorn white;
In damp, sodden fields or bare garden beds
No daisies or cowslips show their heads;
Whilst chill winds and skies of gloomy hue
Tell in England, as elsewhere, ’tis winter too.

Away with dull thoughts! Raise your brooding eyes
To yonder unclouded azure skies;
Look round on the earth, robed in bridal white,
All glittering and flashing with diamonds bright,
While o’er head, her lover and lord, the sun,
Shines brightly as e’er in summer he’s done.

In a graceful sleigh, drawn by spirited steed,
You glide o’er the snow with lightning speed,
Whilst from harness, decked with silvery bells,
sweet showers the sound on the clear air swells;
And the keen bracing breeze, with vigor rife,
Sends quick through your veins warm streams of life.

Or, on with your snow-shoes, so strong and light,
Thick blanket-coat, sash of scarlet bright,
And, away o’er the deep and untrodden snow,
Through wood, o’er mountain, untrammelled to go
Through lone, narrow paths, where in years long fled,
The Indian passed with light active tread.

What! dare to rail at our snow-storms, why
Not view them with poet’s or artist’s eye?
Watch each pearly flake as it falls from above,
Like snowy plumes from some spotless dove,
Clothing all objects in ermine rare,
More sure than the bright robes which monarchs wear.

Have you not witnessed our glorious nights,
So brilliant with gleaming Northern lights,
Quick flashing and darting across the sky
While far in the starry heavens on high
The shining moon pours streams of light
O’er the silent earth, robed in dazzling white.

There are times, too, our woods show wond’rous sights
Such as are read of in “Arabian Nights,”
When branch and bough are all laden with gems
Bright as those that deck Eastern diadems;
And the sun sheds a blaze of dazzling light
On ruby and opal and diamond bright.

Only tarry till Spring on Canadian shore,
And you’ll rail at our Tenters, then, no more;
New health and fresh life through your veins shall glow,
Spite of piercing winds – spite of ice and snow,
And I’d venture to promise, in truth, my friend,
‘Twill not be the last that with us you’ll spend.

Rosanna Eleanor Leprohon

Winter in Northumberland

Outside the garden
The wet skies harden;
The gates are barred on
The summer side:
“Shut out the flower-time,
Sunbeam and shower-time;
Make way for our time,”
Wild winds have cried.
Green once and cheery,
The woods, worn weary,
Sigh as the dreary
Weak sun goes home:
A great wind grapples
The wave, and dapples
The dead green floor of the sea with foam.

Through fell and moorland,
And salt-sea foreland,
Our noisy norland
Resounds and rings;
Waste waves thereunder
Are blown in sunder,
And winds make thunder
With cloudwide wings;
Sea-drift makes dimmer
The beacon’s glimmer;
Nor sail nor swimmer
Can try the tides;
And snowdrifts thicken
Where, when leaves quicken,
Under the heather the sundew hides.

Green land and red land,
Moorside and headland,
Are white as dead land,
Are all as one;
Nor honied heather,
Nor bells to gather,
Fair with fair weather
And faithful sun:
Fierce frost has eaten
All flowers that sweeten
The fells rain-beaten;
And winds their foes
Have made the snow’s bed
Down in the rose-bed;
Deep in the snow’s bed bury the rose.

Bury her deeper
Than any sleeper;
Sweet dreams will keep her
All day, all night;
Though sleep benumb her
And time o’ercome her,
She dreams of summer,
And takes delight,
Dreaming and sleeping
In love’s good keeping,
While rain is weeping
And no leaves cling;
Winds will come bringing her
Comfort, and singing her
Stories and songs and good news of the spring.

Draw the white curtain
Close, and be certain
She takes no hurt in
Her soft low bed;
She feels no colder,
And grows not older,
Though snows enfold her
From foot to head;
She turns not chilly
Like weed and lily
In marsh or hilly
High watershed,
Or green soft island
In lakes of highland;
She sleeps awhile, and she is not dead.

For all the hours,
Come sun, come showers,
Are friends of flowers,
And fairies all;
When frost entrapped her,
They came and lapped her
In leaves, and wrapped her
With shroud and pall;
In red leaves wound her,
With dead leaves bound her
Dead brows, and round her
A death-knell rang;
Rang the death-bell for her,
Sang, “is it well for her,
Well, is it well with you, rose?” they sang.

O what and where is
The rose now, fairies,
So shrill the air is,
So wild the sky?
Poor last of roses,
Her worst of woes is
The noise she knows is
The winter’s cry;
His hunting hollo
Has scared the swallow;
Fain would she follow
And fain would fly:
But wind unsettles
Her poor last petals;
Had she but wings, and she would not die.

Come, as you love her,
Come close and cover
Her white face over,
And forth again
Ere sunset glances
On foam that dances,
Through lowering lances
Of bright white rain;
And make your playtime
Of winter’s daytime,
As if the Maytime
Were here to sing;
As if the snowballs
Were soft like blowballs,
Blown in a mist from the stalk in the spring.

Each reed that grows in
Our stream is frozen,
The fields it flows in
Are hard and black;
The water-fairy
Waits wise and wary
Till time shall vary
And thaws come back.
“O sister, water,”
The wind besought her,
“O twin-born daughter
Of spring with me,
Stay with me, play with me,
Take the warm way with me,
Straight for the summer and oversea.”

But winds will vary,
And wise and wary
The patient fairy
Of water waits;
All shrunk and wizen,
In iron prison,
Till spring re-risen
Unbar the gates;
Till, as with clamor
Of axe and hammer,
Chained streams that stammer
And struggle in straits
Burst bonds that shiver,
And thaws deliver
The roaring river in stormy spates.

In fierce March weather
White waves break tether,
And whirled together
At either hand,
Like weeds uplifted,
The tree-trunks rifted
In spars are drifted,
Like foam or sand,
Past swamp and sallow
And reed-beds callow,
Through pool and shallow,
To wind and lee,
Till, no more tongue-tied,
Full flood and young tide
Roar down the rapids and storm the sea.

As men’s cheeks faded
On shores invaded,
When shorewards waded
The lords of fight;
When churl and craven
Saw hard on haven
The wide-winged raven
At mainmast height;
When monks affrighted
To windward sighted
The birds full-flighted
Of swift sea-kings;
So earth turns paler
When Storm the sailor
Steers in with a roar in the race of his wings.

O strong sea-sailor,
Whose cheek turns paler
For wind or hail or
For fear of thee?
O far sea-farer,
O thunder-bearer,
Thy songs are rarer
Than soft songs be.
O fleet-foot stranger,
O north-sea ranger
Through days of danger
And ways of fear,
Blow thy horn here for us,
Blow the sky clear for us,
Send us the song of the sea to hear.

Roll the strong stream of it
Up, till the scream of it
Wake from a dream of it
Children that sleep,
Seamen that fare for them
Forth, with a prayer for them:
Shall not God care for them
Angels not keep?
Spare not the surges
Thy stormy scourges;
Spare us the dirges
Of wives that weep.
Turn back the waves for us:
Dig no fresh graves for us,
Wind, in the manifold gulfs of the deep.

O stout north-easter,
Sea-king, land-waster,
For all thine haste, or
Thy stormy skill,
Yet hadst thou never,
For all endeavour,
Strength to dissever
Or strength to spill,
Save of his giving
Who gave our living,
Whose hands are weaving
What ours fulfil;
Whose feet tread under
The storms and thunder;
Who made our wonder to work his will.

His years and hours,
His world’s blind powers,
His stars and flowers,
His nights and days,
Sea-tide and river,
And waves that shiver,
Praise God, the giver
Of tongues to praise.
Winds in their blowing,
And fruits in growing;
Time in its going,
While time shall be;
In death and living,
With one thanksgiving,
Praise him whose hand is the strength of the sea.

Algernon Charles Swinburne

Winter In The Boulevard

The frost has settled down upon the trees
And ruthlessly strangled off the fantasies
Of leaves that have gone unnoticed, swept like old
Romantic stories now no more to be told.

The trees down the boulevard stand naked in thought,
Their abundant summery wordage silenced, caught
In the grim undertow; naked the trees confront
Implacable winter’s long, cross-questioning brunt.

Has some hand balanced more leaves in the depths of the twigs?
Some dim little efforts placed in the threads of the birch? –
It is only the sparrows, like dead black leaves on the sprigs,
Sitting huddled against the cerulean, one flesh with their perch.

The clear, cold sky coldly bethinks itself.
Like vivid thought the air spins bright, and all
Trees, birds, and earth, arrested in the after-thought
Awaiting the sentence out from the welkin brought.

D. H. Lawrence (David Herbert Richards)


Because of the silent snow, we are all hushed
Into awe.
No sound of guns, nor overhead no rushed
Vibration to draw
Our attention out of the void wherein we are crushed.

A crow floats past on level wings
Uninterrupted silence swings
Invisibly, inaudibly
To and fro in our misgivings.

We do not look at each other, we hide
Our daunted eyes.
White earth, and ruins, ourselves, and nothing beside.
It all belies
Our existence; we wait, and are still denied.

We are folded together, men and the snowy ground
Into nullity.
There is silence, only the silence, never a sound
Nor a verity
To assist us; disastrously silence-bound!

D. H. Lawrence (David Herbert Richards)

Winter Magic

Winter that hath few friends yet numbers those
Of spirit erect and delicate of eye;
All may applaud sweet Summer, with her rose,
And Autumn, with her banners in the sky;
But when from the earth’s cheek the colour goes,
Her old adorers from her presence fly.

So cold her bosom seems, such icy glare
Is in her eyes, while on the frozen mere
The shrill ice creaks in the congealing air;
Where is the lover that shall call her dear,
Or the devotion that shall find her fair?
The white-robed widow of the vanished year.

Yet hath she loveliness and many flowers,
Dreams hath she too and tender reveries,
Tranced mid the rainbows of her gleaming bowers,
Or the hushed temples of her pillared trees;
Summer has scarce such soft and silent hours,
Autumn has no such antic wizardries.

Yea! he that takes her to his bosom knows,
Lost in the magic crystal of her eyes,
Upon her vestal cheek a fairer rose,
What rapture and what passionate surprise
Awaits his kiss beneath her mask of snows,
And what strange fire beneath her pallor lies.

Beauty is hers all unconfused of sense,
Lustral, austere, and of the spirit fine;
No cloudy fumes of myrrh and frankincense
Drug in her arms the ecstasy divine;
But stellar awe that kneels in high suspense,
And hallowed glories of the inner shrine.

And, for the idle summer, in our blood
Pleasures hath she of rapid tingling joy,
With ruddy laughter ‘neath her frozen hood,
Purging our mortal metal of alloy,
Stern benefactress of beatitude,
Turning our leaden age to girl and boy.

Richard Le Gallienne

The Winter Moon

Deep in the dell I watched her as she rose,
A face of icy fire, o’er the hills;
With snow-sad eyes to freeze the forest rills,
And snow-sad feet to bleach the meadow snows:
Pale as some young witch who, a-listening, goes
To her first meeting with the Fiend; whose fears
Fix demon eyes behind each bush she nears;
Stops, yet must on, fearful of following foes.
And so I chased her, startled in the wood,
Like a discovered Oread, who flies
The Faun who found her sleeping, each nude limb
Glittering betrayal through the solitude;
Till in a frosty cloud I saw her swim,
Like a drowned face, a blur beneath the ice.

Madison Julius Cawein

Winter: My Secret.

I tell my secret? No indeed, not I:
Perhaps some day, who knows?
But not to-day; it froze, and blows, and snows,
And you’re too curious: fie!
You want to hear it? well:
Only, my secret’s mine, and I won’t tell.

Or, after all, perhaps there’s none:
Suppose there is no secret after all,
But only just my fun.
To-day’s a nipping day, a biting day;
In which one wants a shawl,
A veil, a cloak, and other wraps:
I cannot ope to every one who taps,
And let the draughts come whistling through my hall;
Come bounding and surrounding me,
Come buffeting, astounding me,
Nipping and clipping through my wraps and all.
I wear my mask for warmth: who ever shows
His nose to Russian snows
To be pecked at by every wind that blows?
You would not peck? I thank you for good-will,
Believe, but leave that truth untested still.

Spring’s an expansive time: yet I don’t trust
March with its peck of dust,
Nor April with its rainbow-crowned brief showers,
Nor even May, whose flowers
One frost may wither through the sunless hours.

Perhaps some languid summer day,
When drowsy birds sing less and less,
And golden fruit is ripening to excess,
If there’s not too much sun nor too much cloud,
And the warm wind is neither still nor loud,
Perhaps my secret I may say,
Or you may guess.

Christina Georgina Rossetti

A Winter Night

My window-pane is starred with frost,
The world is bitter cold to-night,
The moon is cruel, and the wind
Is like a two-edged sword to smite.

God pity all the homeless ones,
The beggars pacing to and fro,
God pity all the poor to-night
Who walk the lamp-lit streets of snow.

My room is like a bit of June,
Warm and close-curtained fold on fold,
But somewhere, like a homeless child,
My heart is crying in the cold.

Sara Teasdale

A Winter Night.

The winter wind is raving fierce and shrill,
And chides with angry moan the frosty skies;
The white stars gaze with sleepless Gorgon eyes
That freeze the earth in terror fixed and still.
We reck not of the wild night’s gloom and chill,
Housed from its rage, dear friend; and fancy flies,
Lured by the hand of beckoning memories,
Back to those summer evenings on the hill
Where we together watched the sun go down
Beyond the gold-washed uplands, while his fires
Touched into glittering life the vanes and spires
Piercing the purpling mists that veiled the town.
The wintry night thy voice and eyes beguile,
Till wake the sleeping summers in thy smile.

John Milton Hay

The Winter Night.

Farewell! the beauteous sun is sinking fast,
The moon lifts up her head;
Farewell! mute night o’er earth’s wide round at last
Her darksome raven-wing has spread.

Across the wintry plain no echoes float,
Save, from the rock’s deep womb,
The murmuring streamlet, and the screech-owl’s note,
Arising from the forest’s gloom.

The fish repose within the watery deeps,
The snail draws in his head;
The dog beneath the table calmly sleeps,
My wife is slumbering in her bed.

A hearty welcome to ye, brethren mine!
Friends of my life’s young spring!
Perchance around a flask of Rhenish wine
Ye’re gathered now, in joyous ring.

The brimming goblet’s bright and purple beams
Mirror the world with joy,
And pleasure from the golden grape-juice gleams
Pleasure untainted by alloy.

Concealed behind departed years, your eyes
Find roses now alone;
And, as the summer tempest quickly flies,
Your heavy sorrows, too, are flown.

From childish sports, to e’en the doctor’s hood,
The book of life ye thumb,
And reckon o’er, in light and joyous mood,
Your toils in the gymnasium;

Ye count the oaths that Terence may he ne’er,
Though buried, calmly slumber!
Caused you, despite Minelli’s notes, to swear,
Count your wry faces without number.

How, when the dread examinations came,
The boy with terror shook!
How, when the rector had pronounced his name,
The sweat streamed down upon his book!

All this is now involved in mist forever,
The boy is now a man,
And Frederick, wiser grown, discloses never
What little Fritz once loved to plan.

At length a doctor one’s declared to be,
A regimental one!
And then, and not too soon, discover we
That plans soap-bubbles are alone.

Blow on! blow on! and let the bubbles rise,
If but this heart remain!
And if a German laurel as the prize
Of song, ’tis given me to gain!

Friedrich Schiller

Winter Nights Enlarge

Now winter nights enlarge
The number of their hours,
And clouds their storms discharge
Upon the airy towers.
Let now the chimneys blaze,
And cups o’erflow with wine;
Let well-tuned words amaze
With harmony divine.
Now yellow waxen lights
Shall wait on honey love,
While youthful revels, masques, and courtly sights
Sleep’s leaden spells remove.

This time doth well dispense
With lovers’ long discourse;
Much speech hath some defence,
Though beauty no remorse.
All do not all things well;
Some measures comely tread,
Some knotted riddles tell,
Some poems smoothly read.
The summer hath his joys
And winter his delights;
Though love and all his pleasures are but toys,
They shorten tedious nights.

Thomas Campion

The Winter Pear

Is always Age severe?
Is never Youth austere?
Spring-fruits are sour to eat;
Autumn’s the mellow time.
Nay, very late in the year,
Short day and frosty rime,
Thought, like a winter pear,
Stone-cold in summer’s prime,
May turn from harsh to sweet.

William Allingham

Winter Rain

Wild clouds roll up, slag-dark and slaty gray,
And in the oaks the sere wind sobs and sighs,
Weird as a word a man before he dies
Mutters beneath his breath yet fears to say:
The rain drives down; and by each forest way
Each dead leaf drips, and murmurings arise
As of fantastic footsteps, one who flies,
Whispering, the dim eidolon of the day.

Now is the wood a place where phantoms house:
Around each tree wan ghosts of flowers crowd,
And spectres of sweet weeds that once were fair,
Rustling; and through the bleakness of bare boughs
A voice is heard, now low, now stormy loud,
As if the ghosts of all the leaves were there.

Madison Julius Cawein

Winter Rain

Every valley drinks,
Every dell and hollow:
Where the kind rain sinks and sinks,
Green of Spring will follow.

Yet a lapse of weeks
Buds will burst their edges,
Strip their wool-coats, glue-coats, streaks,
In the woods and hedges;

Weave a bower of love
For birds to meet each other,
Weave a canopy above
Nest and egg and mother.

But for fattening rain
We should have no flowers,
Never a bud or leaf again
But for soaking showers;

Never a mated bird
In the rocking tree-tops,
Never indeed a flock or herd
To graze upon the lea-crops.

Lambs so woolly white,
Sheep the sun-bright leas on,
They could have no grass to bite
But for rain in season.

We should find no moss
In the shadiest places,
Find no waving meadow grass
Pied with broad-eyed daisies:

But miles of barren sand,
With never a son or daughter,
Not a lily on the land,
Or lily on the water.

Christina Georgina Rossetti

Winter Rain

Falling upon the frozen world last
I heard the slow beat of the Winter rain –
Poor foolish drops, down-dripping all in vain;
The ice-bound Earth but mocked their puny might,
Far better had the fixedness of white
And uncomplaining snows – which make no sign,
But coldly smile, when pitying moonbeams shine –
Concealed its sorrow from all human sight.
Long, long ago, in blurred and burdened years,
I learned the uselessness of uttered woe.
Though sinewy Fate deals her most skilful blow,
I do not waste the gall now of my tears,
But feed my pride upon its bitter, while
I look straight in the world’s bold eyes, and smile.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Winter Rainbow.

Thou Winter, thou art keen, intensely keen;
Thy cutting frowns experience bids me know,
For in thy weather days and days I’ve been,
As grinning north-winds horribly did blow,
And pepper’d round my head their hail and snow:
Throughout thy reign ’tis mine each year to prove thee;
And, spite of every storm I’ve beetled in,
With all thy insults, Winter, I do love thee,
Thou half enchantress, like to pictur’d Sin!
Though many frowns thy sparing smiles deform,
Yet when thy sunbeam shrinketh from its shroud,
And thy bright rainbow gilds the purple storm,
I look entranced on thy painted cloud:
And what wild eye with nature’s beauties charm’d,
That hang enraptur’d o’er each ‘witching spell,
Can see thee, Winter, then, and not be warm’d
To breathe thy praise, and say, “I love thee well!”

John Clare

Winter Roses

My garden roses long ago
Have perished from the leaf-strewn walks;
Their pale, fair sisters smile no more
Upon the sweet-brier stalks.

Gone with the flower-time of my life,
Spring’s violets, summer’s blooming pride,
And Nature’s winter and my own
Stand, flowerless, side by side.

So might I yesterday have sung;
To-day, in bleak December’s noon,
Come sweetest fragrance, shapes, and hues,
The rosy wealth of June!

Bless the young bands that culled the gift,
And bless the hearts that prompted it;
If undeserved it comes, at least
It seems not all unfit.

Of old my Quaker ancestors
Had gifts of forty stripes save one;
To-day as many roses crown
The gray head of their son.

And with them, to my fancy’s eye,
The fresh-faced givers smiling come,
And nine and thirty happy girls
Make glad a lonely room.

They bring the atmosphere of youth;
The light and warmth of long ago
Are in my heart, and on my cheek
The airs of morning blow.

O buds of girlhood, yet unblown,
And fairer than the gift ye chose,
For you may years like leaves unfold
The heart of Sharon’s rose

John Greenleaf Whittier

The Winter Soldier: The Pool.

Out of that noise and hurry of large life
The river flings me in an idle pool:
The waters still go on with stir and strife
And sunlit eddies, and the beautiful
Tall trees lean down upon the mighty flow,
Reflected in that movement. Beauty there
Waxes more beautiful, the moments grow
Thicker and keener in that lovely air
Above the river. Here small sticks and straws
Come now to harbour, gather, lie and rot,
Out of cross-currents and the water’s flaws
In this unmoving death, where joy is not,
Where war’s a shade again, ambition rotten
And bitter hopes and fears alike forgotten.

Edward Shanks


Oh, who would be sad tho’ the sky be a-graying,
And meadow and woodlands are empty and bare;
For softly and merrily now there come playing,
The little white birds thro’ the winter-kissed air.

The squirrel’s enjoying the rest of the thrifty,
He munches his store in the old hollow tree;
Tho’ cold is the blast and the snow-flakes are drifty
He fears the white flock not a whit more than we.


Then heigho for the flying snow!
Over the whitened roads we go,
With pulses that tingle,
And sleigh-bells a-jingle
For winter’s white birds here’s a cheery heigho!

Paul Laurence Dunbar

Winter Song

They were parted then at last?
Was it duty, or force, or fate?
Or did a worldly blast
Blow-to the meeting-gate?

An old, short story is this!
A glance, a trembling, a sigh,
A gaze in the eyes, a kiss–
Why will it not go by!

George MacDonald

So, here is the greatest compilation of poems about winter.

Let me know which one is your favorite! 😉


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