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Thomas Cole's poetry

the collected poems of America's foremost painter of the Hudson River School reflecting his feelings for nature and the romantic spirit of the Nineteenth Century

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Winter hoary, stern and strong
Sits the mountain-crags among
On his bleak and horrid throne
Drift on drift the snow is piled
Which the torturing blasts have thrown
Into forms grotesque and wild—
Ice-ribb'd precipices shed
A cold light o'er his grisly head
Athwart his brows gray clouds are bound
Forever whirling round and round—
O'er the forests wide he lays his hand
And they are bare—
They move and moan a spectral band
Struck by despair:
He breathes upon the stream, it shrinks from day
And 'neath the ice-heaps seeks its dismal way.
The lofty pine the Hemlock dark and vast
Alone defy the cruel Despot's might.
The ice-rain keen the tempest's withering blast,
His slaves, assail them fiercely day and night;
But towering high mid Heaven's vault they stand
A firm inconquerable band—
When winter closes o'er life's fitful year
And time outspreads a dull and flagging wing
May the Soul's Evergreens thy bosom cheer,
Strong Faith and Hope that ever heavenward spring.