Zero

A poem by Madison Julius Cawein

The gate, on ice-hoarse hinges, stiff with frost,
Croaks open; and harsh wagon-wheels are heard
Creaking through cold; the horses' breath is furred
Around their nostrils; and with snow deep mossed
The hut is barely seen, from which, uptossed,
The wood-smoke pillars the icy air unstirred;
And every sound, each axe-stroke and each word,
Comes as through crystal, then again is lost.
The sun strikes bitter on the frozen pane,
And all around there is a tingling, tense
As is a wire stretched upon a disc
Vibrating without sound: It is the strain
That Winter plays, to which each tree and fence,
It seems, is strung, as 't were of ringing bisque.

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