Winter In Canada

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Nay tell me not that, with shivering fear,
You shrink from the thought of wintering here;
That the cold intense of our winter-time
Is severe as that of Siberian clime,
And, if wishes could waft you across the sea,
You, to-night, in your English home would be.

Remember, no hedges there now are bright
With verdure, or blossoms of hawthorn white;
In damp, sodden fields or bare garden beds
No daisies or cowslips show their heads;
Whilst chill winds and skies of gloomy hue
Tell in England, as elsewhere, ’tis winter too.

Away with dull thoughts! Raise your brooding eyes
To yonder unclouded azure skies;
Look round on the earth, robed in bridal white,
All glittering and flashing with diamonds bright,
While o’er head, her lover and lord, the sun,
Shines brightly as e’er in summer he’s done.

In a graceful sleigh, drawn by spirited steed,
You glide o’er the snow with lightning speed,
Whilst from harness, decked with silvery bells,
sweet showers the sound on the clear air swells;
And the keen bracing breeze, with vigor rife,
Sends quick through your veins warm streams of life.

Or, on with your snow-shoes, so strong and light,
Thick blanket-coat, sash of scarlet bright,
And, away o’er the deep and untrodden snow,
Through wood, o’er mountain, untrammelled to go
Through lone, narrow paths, where in years long fled,
The Indian passed with light active tread.

What! dare to rail at our snow-storms, why
Not view them with poet’s or artist’s eye?
Watch each pearly flake as it falls from above,
Like snowy plumes from some spotless dove,
Clothing all objects in ermine rare,
More sure than the bright robes which monarchs wear.

Have you not witnessed our glorious nights,
So brilliant with gleaming Northern lights,
Quick flashing and darting across the sky
While far in the starry heavens on high
The shining moon pours streams of light
O’er the silent earth, robed in dazzling white.

There are times, too, our woods show wond’rous sights
Such as are read of in “Arabian Nights,”
When branch and bough are all laden with gems
Bright as those that deck Eastern diadems;
And the sun sheds a blaze of dazzling light
On ruby and opal and diamond bright.

Only tarry till Spring on Canadian shore,
And you’ll rail at our Tenters, then, no more;
New health and fresh life through your veins shall glow,
Spite of piercing winds—spite of ice and snow,
And I’d venture to promise, in truth, my friend,
’Twill not be the last that with us you’ll spend.

© Rosanna Eleanor Leprohon