1828 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Howitt

Bernard Barton, "To William and Mary Howitt" New Year's Gift (1828) 42.



Winter hath bound the brooks in icy chains;
The bee that murmured in the cowslip bell
Now feasts securely in his honied cell;
Silence is on the woods and on the plains,
And darkening clouds and desolating rains
Have marred your forest fountain's quiet spell;
Yet, though retired from these awhile ye dwell,
Your hearts' best hoard of poesy remains.
The sports of childhood, the exhaustless store
Of home-born thoughts and feelings dear to each,
Converse, or silence eloquent as speech;
History's rich page, tradition's richer lore,
Of tale and legend prized in days of yore;—
These, worthy of the Muse, are in your reach.