Winter Piece

Now at this hour of five
This winter afternoon,
This hour when dusk descends
Behind the brightening moon
To etch the trees with black
But leave their branches clear
Against the snow-lit sky,
Where misted stars appear,
Into the arms of the night
The soft gray shadows crawl,
And twilight turns to dark
During one snowflake’s fall.
All things that make this world
Familiar now are lost
To sight. Between the twigs
Made musical with frost,
A few small soundless birds
Still flicker restless wings,
And a rabbit nibbles a bush
Where one dry berry clings.
Over the ghostly snow
Which lies as still as death
Little wild creatures move
And pause and hold their breath
In listening suspense,
As if this silent dearth
Of light and life and warmth
That binds the trees and earth
Were but a waiting for
The morning which will tell
What is the spirit here
That weaves this wintry spell,
What is the loveliness
That white and whiter grows,
And what the silent voice
That speaks beneath the snows.