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The Snow-Birds


  The lonesome graveyard lieth,
    A deep with silent waves
  Of night-long snow, all white, and billowed
    Over the hidden graves.

  The snow-birds come in the morning,
    Flocking and fluttering low,
  And light on the graveyard brambles,
    And twitter there in the snow.

  The Singer, old and weary,
    Looks out from his narrow room:
  "Ah, me! but my thoughts are snow-birds,
    Haunting a graveyard gloom,

  "Where all the Past is buried
    And dead, these many years,
  Under the drifted whiteness
    Of frozen falls of tears.

  "Poor birds! that know not summer,
    Nor sun, nor flowèrs fair,--
  Only the graveyard brambles,
    And graves, and winter air!"


William Dean Howells