When the year fell damp and cold,
Long the nights and short the days,
And the forest’s fallen gold
Trodden in the miry ways;
Cloud-drifts trailing on the ridges,
Moorland rivers swollen and brown,
Lone birds, from the dripping hedges,
Seeking shelter near the town:
Quite forgotten summer’s rays,
Closed we round the glowing ember,
And deem’d the cosiest of our days
The bleak beginning of November.

List’ning to the beating storm,
And the wind up in the vent–
Without, so cold–within, so warm–
Hearts so full of deep content:
Reading legends in the ashes,
Telling tales that charm and move;
Looking underneath long lashes
To devour the eyes we love:–
Eyes are closed and hearts are still’d;
But ’tis given me to remember
The more than summer light that fill’d
The bleak beginning of November.

— Robert Leighton