When winter comes and takes away the rose,
And all the singing of sweet birds is done,
The warm and honeyed world lost deep in snows,
Still, independent of the summer sun,
In vain, with sullen roar,
December shakes my door,
And sleet upon the pane
Threatens my peace in vain,
While, seated by the fire upon my knee,
My love abides with me.
For he who, wise in time, his harvest yields
Reaped into barns, sweet-smelling and secure,
Smiles as the rain beats sternly on his fields,
For wealth is his no winter can make poor;
Safe all his waving gold
Shut in against the cold,
Treasure of summer grass -
So sit I with my lass,
My harvest sheaves of all her garnered charms
Safe in my happy arms.
Still fragrant in the garden of her breast,
The flowers that fled with summer softly bloom,
The birds that shook with song each empty nest
Still, when she speaks, fill all the listening room,
Deep-sheltered from the storm
Within her blossoming form.
Flower-breathed and singing sweet
Is she from head to feet;
All summer in my sweetheart doth abide,
Though winter be outside.
So all the various wonder of the world,
The wizard moon and stars, the haunted sea,
In her small being mystically furled,
She brings as in a golden cup to me;
Within no other book
My eyes for wisdom look,
That have her eyes for lore;
And when the flaming door
Opens into the dark, what shall I fear
Adventuring with my dear?