Kirkdale in December


kirkdale compositions



Kirkdale in December

Found in a book of 19th century newspaper cuttings; signed 'A.R.'; communicated by Lorna Watts

1.  O leafless trees, O ice-bound brook,
    O fallen leaves all dead and sere;
How chilling and how deathly falls
    The cold breath of the changing year.
2.  The old earth sleeps in spotless robes, 
     In cloudless frosty light, -
And glistening bright as clustered gems,
     The snow lies pure and white.
3.  But pearly snow, and nipping frost,
     And hoary rime must vanish soon;
And once again the land shall throb
     With all the life of balmy June.
4.  Unstirred by every quickening pulse
     That yearly leaps to life around,
The seed sown with such bitter tears,
     Lies in God's Acre's hallowed ground.
5.  Where monkish hymns and monkish feet
     Were known within this wooded glen, -
And all our hardy fathers feared
     The war-cry of the Northern men; -
6.  Even then perchance, the funeral chant
    Had echoed in the lonely wood;
So long ago, the sorrowing monks
    Beside the open grave had stood.
7.  For centuries now, in this lone vale,
   In an unbroken stillness lie
The treasures that the riven heart
   Gave up with many a heart-felt sigh.
8.  Yet even those who sleep so long,
   God's quickening touch shall wake at last;
In changeless summer, blighted hearts
   Shall find their winter over-past.