A barren moor is at my door;
    A sullen moon on high.
It is as wild a winter night
    As ever washed the sky.

A lean, white bird, that rides the storm,
    Doth lift her wounded wing
Against my windows, till they mourn
    Like any living thing.

“O woeful wind,” my spirit cried,
    “What black land gave thee birth?”
“My soul was born,” the wind replied,
    “Where summer woos the earth.

“Where summer strews her lustrous dews
    O’er Leto’s lonely lawn;
Until her sward’s a beaded cup
    To cheer the lips of dawn.

“I dream of ferns and sleeping burns
    When sweeping o’er the snow.”
“O winter wind,” my spirit cried,
    “Thy dream is all of woe.”

But, O, at dawn, to chide my words,
    Betwixt me and the sun,
Upon my window pane was scrolled
    A fern—a perfect one.

Wild winds may speak of gentle bowers:
    Soft zephyrs breathe of death.
The crag may nurse the frailest flowers;
    And they—the scorpion’s breath.

O Nature! consolation sweet,
    What messages are thine!
Tonight—the wind with tragic feet:
    Tomorrow—God’s design.

Without—the winds of life are cold:
    Within—my heart is warm.
But all the windows of my soul
    Are lovely from the storm.

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