The holly bush, a sober lump of green,
Shines through the leafless shrubs all brown and grey,
And smiles at winter be it e’er so keen
With all the leafy luxury of May.
And oh, it is delicious, when the day
In winter’s loaded garment keenly blows
And turns her back on sudden falling snows,
To go where gravel pathways creep between
Arches of evergreen that scarce let through
A single feather of the driving storm;
And in the bitterest day that ever blew
The walk will find some places still and warm
Where dead leaves rustle sweet and give alarm
To little birds that flirt and start away.