A cold paradise



"A winter Eden in an alder swamp

Where conies now come out to sun and romp,

As near a paradise as it can be

And not melt snow or start a dormant tree.

It lifts existence on a plane of snow

One level higher than the earth below,

One level nearer heaven overhead

And last year’s berries shining scarlet red.

It lifts a gaunt luxuriating beast

Where he can stretch and hold his highest feast

On some wild apple tree’s young tender bark,

What well may prove the years’ high girdle mark.

Pairing in all known paradises ends:

Here loveless birds now flock as winter friends,

Content with bud inspecting. They presume

To say which buds are leaf and which are bloom.

A feather hammer gives a double knock.

This Eden day is done at two o’clock.

An hour of winter day might seem too short

To make it worth life’s while to wake and sport.''

-- A Winter Eden,'' by Robert Frost