John Greenleaf Whittier

(17 December 1807 – 7 September 1892 / Haverhill, Massachusetts)

A Memory Poem by John Greenleaf Whittier


Here, while the loom of Winter weaves
The shroud of flowers and fountains,
I think of thee and summer eves
Among the Northern mountains.

When thunder tolled the twilight's close,
And winds the lake were rude on,
And thou wert singing, _Ca' the Yowes_,
The bonny yowes of Cluden!

When, close and closer, hushing breath,
Our circle narrowed round thee,
And smiles and tears made up the wreath
Wherewith our silence crowned thee;

And, strangers all, we felt the ties
Of sisters and of brothers;
Ah! whose of all those kindly eyes
Now smile upon another's?

The sport of Time, who still apart
The waifs of life is flinging;
Oh, nevermore shall heart to heart
Draw nearer for that singing!

Yet when the panes are frosty-starred,
And twilight's fire is gleaming,
I hear the songs of Scotland's bard
Sound softly through my dreaming!

A song that lends to winter snows
The glow of summer weather,--
Again I hear thee ca' the yowes
To Cluden's hills of heather

Submitted: Tuesday, April 06, 2010

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