C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


O winter, ruler of the inverted year!


Winter is the night of vegetation.


Stern winter loves a dirge-like sound.


Coldly and capriciously the slanting sunbeams fall.

Alice Cary.

O wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?


When great leaves fall, the winter is at hand.


And Autumn in his leafless bowers is waiting for the winter’s snow.


The frost performs its secret ministry unhelped by any wind.


Winter binds our strengthened bodies in a cold embrace constringent.


Winter does not work only on a broad scale; he is careful in trifles.

Alexander Smith.

Winter giveth the fields, and the trees so old, their beards of icicles and snow.


The stiff rails were softened to swan’s-down, and still fluttered down the snow.


Behold the groves that shine with silver frost, their beauty withered, and their verdure lost!


When dark December glooms the day, and takes our autumn joys away.

Sir Walter Scott.

  • No vernal blooms their torpid rocks array,
  • But winter lingering chills the lap of May.
  • Goldsmith.

    The silent snow possessed the earth, and calmly fell our Christmas-eve.


  • On a lone winter evening, when the frost
  • Has wrought a silence.
  • Keats.

    ’Tis done! dread winter spreads his latest glooms, and reigns tremendous o’er the conquered year.


  • Every Fern is tucked and set,
  • ’Neath coverlet,
  • Downy and soft and warm.
  • Susan Coolidge.

  • See, Winter comes to rule the varied year,
  • Sullen and sad, with all his rising train,
  • Vapors, and clouds, and storms.
  • Thomson.

    Well-apparelled April on the heel of limping winter treads.


    A February face, so full of frost, of storm, and cloudiness!


    Take winter as you find him, and he turns out to be a thoroughly honest fellow with no nonsense in him, and tolerating none in you, which is a great comfort in the long run.


  • The day is ending,
  • The night is descending;
  • The marsh is frozen,
  • The river dead.
  • Longfellow.

  • But see, Orion sheds unwholesome dews;
  • Arise, the pines a noxious shade diffuse;
  • Sharp Boreas blows, and nature feels decay,
  • Time conquers all, and we must time obey.
  • Pope.

  • Where, twisted round the barren oak,
  • The summer vine in beauty clung,
  • And summer winds the stillness broke,
  • The crystal icicle is hung.
  • Longfellow.

  • Green moss shines there with ice encased;
  • The long grass bends its spear-like form;
  • And lovely is the silvery scene
  • When faint the sun-beams smile.
  • Southey.

  • In winter, when the dismal rain
  • Came down in slanting lines,
  • And Wind, that grand old harper, smote
  • His thunder-harp of pines.
  • Alexander Smith.

  • I crown thee king of intimate delights,
  • Fireside enjoyments, home-born happiness,
  • And all the comforts that the lowly roof
  • Of undisturb’d retirement, and the hours
  • Of long, uninterrupted evening, know.
  • Cowper.

  • There’s silence in the harvest field;
  • And blackness in the mountain glen,
  • And cloud that will not pass away
  • From the hill-tops for many a day;
  • And stillness round the homes of men.
  • Mary Howitt.

  • Yet all how beautiful! Pillars of pearl
  • Propping the cliffs above, stalactites bright
  • From the ice roof depending; and beneath,
  • Grottoes and temples with their crystal spires
  • And gleaming columns radiant in the sun.
  • William Henry Burleigh.

  • Look! the massy trunks
  • Are cased in the pure crystal; each light spray,
  • Nodding and tinkling in the breath of heaven,
  • Is studded with its trembling water-drops,
  • That glimmer with an amethystine light.
  • Bryant.

    Every leaf and twig was***covered with a sparkling ice armor. Even the grasses in exposed fields were hung with innumerable diamond pendants, which jingled merrily when brushed by the foot of the traveler.***It was as if some superincumbent stratum of the earth had been removed in the night, exposing to light a bed of untarnished crystals.

    Henry D. Thoreau.

  • Miserable they!
  • Who, here entangled in the gathering ice,
  • Take their last look of the descending sun,
  • While, full of death, and fierce with tenfold frost,
  • The long, long night, incumbent o’er their heads,
  • Falls horrible.
  • Thomson.

  • Under the snowdrifts the blossoms are sleeping,
  • Dreaming their dreams of sunshine and June,
  • Down in the hush of their quiet they’re keeping
  • Trills from the throstle’s wild summer-sung tune.
  • Harriet Prescott Spofford.

  • ’Tis winter, yet there is no sound
  • Along the air
  • Of winds along their battle-ground;
  • But gently there
  • The snow is falling,—all around.
  • Ralph Hoyt.

  • O Winter! bar thine adamantine doors:
  • The north is thine; there hast thou built thy dark,
  • Deep-founded habitation. Shake not thy roofs,
  • Nor bend thy pillars with thine iron car.
  • William Blake.

  • Here feel we but the penalty of Adam,
  • The seasons’ difference, as the icy fang
  • And churlish chiding of the winter’s wind,
  • Which, when it bites and blows upon my body,
  • Even till I shrink with cold, I smile and say,
  • “This is no flattery.”
  • Shakespeare.

  • O Winter! ruler of the inverted year,
  • Thy scatter’d hair with sleet-like ashes fill’d,
  • Thy breath congeal’d upon thy lips, thy cheeks
  • Fring’d with a beard made white with other snows
  • Than those of age; thy forehead wrapt in clouds,
  • A leafless branch thy sceptre, and thy throne
  • A sliding car indebted to no wheels,
  • But urged by storms along its slippery way;
  • I love thee, all unlovely as thou seem’st,
  • And dreaded as thou art.
  • Cowper.

  • Every winter,
  • When the great sun has turned his face away,
  • The earth goes down into the vale of grief,
  • And fasts, and weeps, and shrouds herself in sables,
  • Leaving her wedding-garlands to decay—
  • Then leaps in spring to his returning kisses.
  • Charles Kingsley.

  • Up rose the wild old winter-king,
  • And shook his beard of snow;
  • “I hear the first young hare-bell ring,
  • ’Tis time for me to go!
  • Northward o’er the icy rocks,
  • Northward o’er the sea,
  • My daughter comes with sunny locks:
  • This land’s too warm for me!”
  • Leland.

  • His breath like silver arrows pierced the air,
  • The naked earth crouched shuddering at his feet,
  • His finger on all flowing waters sweet
  • Forbidding lay—motion nor sound was there:—
  • Nature was frozen dead,—and still and slow,
  • A winding sheet fell o’er her body fair,
  • Flaky and soft, from his wide wings of snow.
  • Frances Anne Kemble.

  • When icicles hang by the wall,
  • And Dick, the shepherd, blows his nail,
  • And Tom bears logs into the hall,
  • And milk comes frozen home in pail,
  • When blood is nipp’d and ways be foul,
  • Then nightly sings the staring owl,
  • Tu-whit;
  • Tu-who, a merry note,
  • While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Now, when the cheerless empire of the sky
  • To Capricorn the Centaur Archer yields,
  • And fierce Aquarius stains th’ inverted year;
  • Hung o’er the farthest verge of heaven, the sun
  • Scarce spreads o’er ether the dejected day;
  • Faint are his gleams and ineffectual shoot
  • His struggling rays, in horizontal lines.
  • Thomson.

  • These Winter nights against my window-pane
  • Nature with busy pencil draws designs
  • Of ferns and blossoms and fine spray of pines,
  • Oak-leaf and acorn and fantastic vines,
  • Which she will make when summer comes again—
  • Quaint arabesques in argent, flat and cold,
  • Like curious Chinese etchings.
  • T. B. Aldrich.

  • When now, unsparing as the scourge of war,
  • Blasts follow blasts and groves dismantled roar;
  • Around their home the storm-pinched cattle lows,
  • No nourishment in frozen pasture grows;
  • Yet frozen pastures every morn resound
  • With fair abundance thund’ring to the ground.
  • Bloomfield.

  • All nature feels the renovating force
  • Of winter, only to the thoughtless eye
  • In ruin seen. The frost-contracted glebe
  • Draws in abundant vegetable soul,
  • And gathers vigor for the coming year.
  • A stronger glow sits on the lively cheek
  • Of ruddy fire; and luculent along
  • The purer rivers flow: their sullen deeps,
  • Transparent, open to the shepherd’s gaze
  • And murmur hoarser at the fixing frost.
  • Thomson.

  • When winter stern his gloomy front uprears,
  • A sable void the barren earth appears;
  • The meads no more their former verdure boast,
  • Fast-bound their streams, and all their beauty lost;
  • The herds, the flocks, in icy garments mourn, and wildly murmur for the Spring’s return;
  • From snow-topp’d hills the whirlwinds keenly blow,
  • Howl through the woods, and pierce the vales below,
  • Through the sharp air a flaky torrent flies,
  • Mocks the slow sight, and hides the gloomy skies.
  • Crabbe.

  • But Winter has yet brighter scenes—he boasts
  • Splendors beyond what gorgeous Summer knows,
  • Or Autumn with his many fruits, and woods
  • All flushed with many hues. Come when the rains
  • Have glazed the snow and clothed the trees with ice,
  • While the slant sun of February pours
  • Into the bowers a flood of light. Approach!
  • The incrusted surface shall upbear thy steps,
  • And the broad arching portals of the grove
  • Welcome thy entering.
  • William Cullen Bryant.

  • Lastly came Winter cloathed all in frize,
  • Chattering his teeth for cold that did him chill;
  • Whilst on his hoary beard his breath did freese,
  • And the dull drops, that from his purpled bill,
  • As from a limebeck did adown distill:
  • In his right hand a tipped staffe he held,
  • With which his feeble steps he stayed still;
  • For he was faint with cold, and weak with eld;
  • That scarce his loosed limbes he hable was to weld.
  • Spenser.