Christina Rossetti: Poems

A Year's Windfalls

On the wind of January

Down flits the snow,

Travelling from the frozen North

As cold as it can blow.

Poor robin redbreast,

Look where he comes;

Let him in to feel your fire,

And toss him of your crumbs.

On the wind in February

Snowflakes float still, 10

Half inclined to turn to rain,

Nipping, dripping, chill.

Then the thaws swell the streams,

And swollen rivers swell the sea:--

If the winter ever ends

How pleasant it will be!

In the wind of windy March

The catkins drop down,

Curly, caterpillar-like,

Curious green and brown. 20

With concourse of nest-building birds

And leaf-buds by the way,

We begin to think of flowers

And life and nuts some day.

With the gusts of April

Rich fruit-tree blossoms fall,

On the hedged-in orchard-green,

From the southern wall.

Apple-trees and pear-trees

Shed petals white or pink, 30

Plum-trees and peach-trees;

While sharp showers sink and sink.

Little brings the May breeze

Beside pure scent of flowers,

While all things wax and nothing wanes

In lengthening daylight hours.

Across the hyacinth beds

The wind lags warm and sweet,

Across the hawthorn tops,

Across the blades of wheat. 40

In the wind of sunny June

Thrives the red rose crop,

Every day fresh blossoms blow

While the first leaves drop;

White rose and yellow rose

And moss-rose choice to find,

And the cottage cabbage-rose

Not one whit behind.

On the blast of scorched July

Drives the pelting hail, 50

From thunderous lightning-clouds, that blot

Blue heaven grown lurid-pale.

Weedy waves are tossed ashore,

Sea-things strange to sight

Gasp upon the barren shore

And fade away in light.

In the parching August wind

Corn-fields bow the head,

Sheltered in round valley depths,

On low hills outspread. 60

Early leaves drop loitering down

Weightless on the breeze,

First fruits of the year's decay

From the withering trees.

In brisk wind of September

The heavy-headed fruits

Shake upon their bending boughs

And drop from the shoots;

Some glow golden in the sun,

Some show green and streaked, 70

Some set forth a purple bloom,

Some blush rosy-cheeked.

In strong blast of October

At the equinox,

Stirred up in his hollow bed

Broad ocean rocks;

Plunge the ships on his bosom,

Leaps and plunges the foam,--

It's oh! for mothers' sons at sea,

That they were safe at home. 80

In slack wind of November

The fog forms and shifts;

All the world comes out again

When the fog lifts.

Loosened from their sapless twigs

Leaves drop with every gust;

Drifting, rustling, out of sight

In the damp or dust.

Last of all, December,

The year's sands nearly run, 90

Speeds on the shortest day,

Curtails the sun;

With its bleak raw wind

Lays the last leaves low,

Brings back the nightly frosts,

Brings back the snow.