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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
Akseli Gallen-Kallela, "Imatra in Winter" (1893)

Winter is one of the four seasons of temperate zones. It is the season with the coldest days and the lowest temperatures. In areas further away from the equator, winter is often marked by cold weather; it is associated with snow, frozen water, and limited daylight.


  • 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.
  • Observe and see how (in the winter) all the trees seem as though they had withered and shed all their leaves, except fourteen trees, which do not lose their foliage but retain the old foliage from two to three years till the new comes.
  • Do not want to go out in fridge-crossed-with-swimming pool-like world.
  • Never tell me of the sterner beauties of winter. Winter may have a mighty beauty of its own, where the mountain rises, white with the snow of a thousand years, hemmed in by black pine forests, eternal in their gloom ; where the overhanging avalanche makes terrible even the slightest sound of the human voice ; and where waters that never flowed spread the glittering valleys with the frost-work of the measureless past. But the characteristic of English scenery is loveliness. We look for the verdant green of her fields, for the colours of her wild and garden flowers, for daisies universal as hope, and for the cheerful hedges, so various in leaf and bud. Winter comes to us with gray mists and drizzling rains : now and then, for a day, the frost creates its own fragile and fairy world of gossamer ; but not often. We see the desolate trees, bleak and bare ; the dreary meadows, the withered gardens, and close door and window, to exclude the fog and the east wind.
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • How like a winter hath my absence been
    From thee, the pleasure of the fleeting year!
    What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen!
  • 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.
    • Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene (1589-96), Canto VII. Legend of Constancie, Stanza 31.
  • In winter I get up at night,
    And dress by yellow candle-light.
    In summer quite the other way
    I have to go to bed by day.
  • See, Winter comes, to rule the varied year,
    Sullen and sad, with all his rising train;
    Vapors, and Clouds, and Storms.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Many of the phenomena of Winter are suggestive of an inexpressible tenderness and fragile delicacy. We are accustomed to hear this king described as a rude and boisterous tyrant; but with the gentleness of a lover he adorns the tresses of Summer.
  • On that winter day when Nature was deep in her annual slumber and seemed to have kicked the clothes off... copses, dells, quarries and all hidden places, which had been mysterious mines for exploration in leafy summer, now exposed themselves and their secrets

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 877-78.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Every Fern is tucked and set,
    'Neath coverlet,
    Downy and soft and warm.
  • On a lone winter evening, when the frost
    Has wrought a silence.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • In winter, when the dismal rain
    Came down in slanting lines,
    And Wind, that grand old harper, smote
    His thunder-harp of pines.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • What miracle of weird transforming
    Is this wild work of frost and light,
    This glimpse of glory infinite?
  • Stern Winter loves a dirge-like sound.
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