A Winter Evening

See, from the Year are all its Honours fled,
And dull November rears his gloomy Head;
The distant Sun emits a fainter Ray,
And a long Night succeeds each transient Day.
In damp dark Mists the thick'ning Vapour falls,
And the chill'd Cattle shudder in their Stalls;
The sapless Trees their naked Branches show,
Till cover'd o'er with gath'ring Flakes of Snow;
Keen Blasts and piercing Frost the Floods constrain,
And bind the solid Earth, and fix old Winter's Reign.
Yet now, when quick-descending Night denies
To rouse the Blood with vig'rous Exercise,
In our own hospitable Homes we find
The Climate temp'rate, and the Season kind;
Where blazing Hearths a genial Warmth display,
And chearful Lamps supply the absent Day;
Where all things round us with Delight we see,
And hum'rous Sport, and sweet Society,
The friendly Banquet, and the flowing Bowl,
Deceive the merry Minutes as they roll.
Then, if we freely from our Store impart,
To chear with needful Aid the Poor Man's Heart,
And pleas'd, our gen'rous Bounty to employ,
Diffuse the various Blessings we enjoy;
In Life, what happier Portion can we find?
Easy our Selves, and Friends of Human Kind.
So spent, our rugged Winter Ev'nings bring
Joys scarce exceeded by the blooming Spring.
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