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James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

February 22

The Twenty-second of February

By William Cullen Bryant (1794–1878)

PALE is the February sky,

And brief the mid-day’s sunny hours;

The wind-swept forest seems to sigh

For the sweet time of leaves and flowers.

Yet has no month a prouder day,

Not even when the summer broods

O’er meadows in their fresh array,

Or autumn tints the glowing woods.

For this chill season now again,

Brings, in its annual round, the morn

When, greatest of the sons of men,

Our glorious Washington was born.

Lo, where, beneath an icy shield,

Calmly the mighty Hudson flows!

By snow-clad fell and frozen field,

Broadening, the lordly river goes.

The wildest storm that sweeps through space,

And rends the oak with sudden force,

Can raise no ripple on his face,

Or slacken his majestic course.

Thus, ’mid the wreck of thrones, shall live

Unmarred, undimmed, our hero’s fame,

And years succeeding years shall give

Increase of honors to his name.