Poetry of Kansas

The Invasion of Winter.

King Winter came storming and blustering
                  forth;
        Rigorous, boisterous, bold;
His chargers the hail and the sleet of the
                  North,
        His lash the implacable cold.
 
With snow for his mail and with wind for
                  his sword,
He fell on the shelterless sheep;
While the last rose left blooming of Sum-
                  mer's vast horde,
        Lay numbed in her last icy sleep.
 
Wherever he drove in tempestuous might,
All Nature acknowledged his sway;
The stream in its channel stood still with
                  affright,
        The beast and the bird hied away.
 
Man fled to his castle and bolted his door,
        Then doubled his armor of wool.
Old Boreas mocked him with shriek and
                  with roar;
        And charged like a furious bull.
 
Thus Winter invaded the breadth and the
            length
        Of Summer's deserted domain,
With insolent boast and invincible strength
        He set up his tyrannous reign.
 
Yet even his madness a method confessed,
And beauty enshrouded his blight;
For all the bleak landscape he lavishly
                  dressed
        In robes of immaculate white.
 
He paved for the coaster the slope of the
                  hill,
Congealed for the skater the lake;
The music of sleighbells, long silent and
                  still,
        He sent over woodland and brake.
 
Where blushes and maidenhood temptingly
                  met,
        Where beauty his boldness excused,
His kiss left rare loveliness lovelier yet,
        With the glow of Aurora suffused.
 
He tapped on the window with delicate
                  touch,
He etched from invisible plan
Fantastic festoonings and draperies such
        As never were fashioned by man.
 
And thus far and wide this estheticist stern
        His frigid dominion ordained.
His subjects, dismayed and delighted by
                  turn,
        Now praised him, now loudly com-
                  plained.
 
But little eared he for approval or blame,
        His heart was as cold as his head.
He reigned undisturbed till the Spring
                  cohorts came,
        Then raging and raving he fled.

__Harry Edward Mills.

 

Select Sunflowers
Harry Edward Mills
(Fort Scott: Sunflower Press. 1901)
Pages 31-33

 
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June 14, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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