Now the long-bearded chilly-fingered winter
Over the green fields sweeps his cloak and leaves
Its whiteness there. It caught on the wild trees,
Shook whiteness on the hedges and left bare
South-sloping corners and south-fronting smooth
Barks of tall beeches swaying 'neath their whiteness
So gently that the whiteness does not fall.
The ash copse shows all white between gray poles,
The oaks spread arms to catch the wandering snow.
But the yews--I wondered to see their dark all white,
To see the soft flakes fallen on those grave deeps,
Lying there, not burnt up by the yews' slow fire.
Could Time so whiten all the trembling senses,
The youth, the fairness, the all-challenging strength,
And load even Love's grave deeps with his barren snows?
Even so. And what remains?
The hills of thought
That shape Time's snows and melt them and lift up
Green and unchanging to the wandering stars.