Hoyt & Roberts, comps. Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations. 1922.


These Winter nights against my window-pane
Nature with busy pencil draws designs
Of ferns and blossoms and fine spray of pines,
Oak-leaf and acorn and fantastic vines,
Which she will make when summer comes again—
Quaint arabesques in argent, flat and cold,
Like curious Chinese etchings.
T. B. Aldrich—Frost-Work.

O Winter! bar thine adamantine doors:
The north is thine; there hast thou built thy dark,
Deep-founded habitation. Shake not thy roofs,
Nor bend thy pillars with thine iron car.
William Blake—To Winter.

When now, unsparing as the scourge of war,
Blasts follow blasts and groves dismantled roar;
Around their home the storm-pinched cattle lows,
No nourishment in frozen pasture grows;
Yet frozen pastures every morn resound
With fair abundance thund’ring to the ground.
Bloomfield—The Farmer’s Boy. Winter. St. 2.

Look! the massy trunks
Are cased in the pure crystal; each light spray,
Nodding and tinkling in the breath of heaven,
Is studded with its trembling water-drops,
That glimmer with an amethystine light.
Bryant—A Winter Piece. L. 66.

Yet all how beautiful! Pillars of pearl
Propping the cliffs above, stalactites bright
From the ice roof depending; and beneath,
Grottoes and temples with their crystal spires
And gleaming columns radiant in the sun.
Wm. Henry Burleigh—Winter.

The tendinous part of the mind, so to speak, is more developed in winter; the fleshy, in summer. I should say winter had given the bone and sinew to literature, summer the tissues and the blood.
John Burroughs—The Snow-Walkers.

The frost performs its secret ministry,
Unhelped by any wind.
Coleridge—Frost at Midnight. L. 1.

Every Fern is tucked and set,
’Neath coverlet,
Downy and soft and warm.
Susan Coolidge—Time to Go.

O Winter! ruler of the inverted year,
I crown thee king of intimate delights,
Fireside enjoyments, home-born happiness,
And all the comforts that the lowly roof
Of undisturb’d Retirement, and the hours
Of long uninterrupted evening, know.
Cowper—Task. Bk. IV. L. 120.

On a lone winter evening, when the frost
Has wrought a silence.
Keats—On the Grasshopper and Cricket.

His breath like silver arrows pierced the air,
The naked earth crouched shuddering at his feet,
His finger on all flowing waters sweet
Forbidding lay—motion nor sound was there:—
Nature was frozen dead,—and still and slow,
A winding sheet fell o’er her body fair,
Flaky and soft, from his wide wings of snow.
Frances Anne Kemble—Winter. L. 9.

Every winter,
When the great sun has turned his face away,
The earth goes down into a vale of grief,
And fasts, and weeps, and shrouds herself in sables,
Leaving her wedding-garlands to decay—
Then leaps in spring to his returning kisses.
Charles Kingsley—Saint’s Tragedy. Act III. Sc. 1.

Up rose the wild old winter-king,
And shook his beard of snow;
“I hear the first young hare-bell ring,
’Tis time for me to go!
Northward o’er the icy rocks,
Northward o’er the sea,
My daughter comes with sunny locks:
This land’s too warm for me!”

But see, Orion sheds unwholesome dews;
Arise, the pines a noxious shade diffuse;
Sharp Boreas blows, and nature feels decay,
Time conquers all, and we must time obey.
Pope—Ode to Winter. L. 85.

Wintry boughs against a wintry sky;
Yet the sky is partly blue
And the clouds are partly bright.
Who can tell but sap is mounting high,
Out of sight,
Ready to burst through?
Christina G. Rossetti—Spring signals to Winter.

Here feel we but the penalty of Adam,
The seasons’ difference, as the icy fang
And churlish chiding of the winter’s wind,
Which, when it bites and blows upon my body,
Even till I shrink with cold, I smile and say,
“This is no flattery.”
As You Like It. Act II. Sc. 1. L. 5.

Winter’s not gone yet, if the wild-geese fly that way.
King Lear. Act II. Sc. 4. L. 46.

When icicles hang by the wall,
And Dick, the shepherd, blows his nail,
And Tom bears logs into the hall,
And milk comes frozen home in pail,
When blood is nipp’d and ways be foul,
Then nightly sings the staring owl,
Tu-who, a merry note,
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.
Love’s Labour’s Lost. Act V. Sc. 2. L. 922.

In winter, when the dismal rain
Came down in slanting lines,
And Wind, that grand old harper, smote
His thunder-harp of pines.
Alexander Smith—A Life Drama. Sc. 2.

Lastly came Winter cloathed all in frize,
Chattering his teeth for cold that did him chill;
Whilst on his hoary beard his breath did freese,
And the dull drops, that from his purpled bill
As from a limebeck did adown distill:
In his right hand a tipped staffe he held,
With which his feeble steps he stayed still;
For he was faint with cold, and weak with eld;
That scarce his loosed limbes he hable was to weld.
Spenser—Faerie Queene. Canto VII. Legend of Constancie. St. 31.

Under the snowdrifts the blossoms are sleeping,
Dreaming their dreams of sunshine and June,
Down in the hush of their quiet they’re keeping
Trills from the throstle’s wild summer-sung tune.
Harriet Prescott Spofford—Under the Snowdrifts.

See, Winter comes, to rule the varied year,
Sullen and sad, with all his rising train;
Vapors, and Clouds, and Storms.
Thomson—Seasons. Winter. L. 1.

Through the hush’d air the whitening Shower descends,
At first thin wavering; till at last the Flakes
Fall broad, and wide, and fast, dimming the day
With a continual flow. The cherished Fields
Put on their winter-robe of purest white,
’Tis brightness all; save where the new Snow melts
Along the mazy current.
Thomson—Seasons. Winter. L. 229.

Dread Winter spreads his latest glooms,
And reigns, tremendous, o’er the conquer’d Year.
How dead the vegetable kingdom lies!
How dumb the tuneful! Horror wide extends
His desolate domain.
Thomson—Seasons. Winter. L. 1,024.

Make we here our camp of winter;
And, through sleet and snow,
Pitchy knot and beechen splinter
On our hearth shall glow.
Here, with mirth to lighten duty,
We shall lack alone
Woman’s smile and girlhood’s beauty,
Childhood’s lisping tone.
Whittier—Lumbermen. St. 8.

What miracle of weird transforming
Is this wild work of frost and light,
This glimpse of glory infinite?
Whittier—The Pageant. St. 8.

Stern Winter loves a dirge-like sound.
Wordsworth—On the Power of Sound. St. 12.