Cold, moist, young phlegmy winter now doth lie
In swaddling clouts, like new-born infancy;
Bound up with frosts, and fur’d with hail & snows,
And, like an infant, still it taller grows.
December is my first, and now the sun
To the southward Tropick his swift race doth run.
This month he’s hous’d in horned Capricorn,
From thence he ’gins to length the shortened morn,
Through Christendom with great festivity,
Now’s held (but guessed) for blest Nativity.
Cold, frozen January next comes in,
Chilling the blood, and shrinking up the skin.
In Aquarius now keeps the long-wish’d sun,
And northward his unwearied course doth run.
The day much longer than it was before,
The cold not lessened, but augmented more.
Now toes and ears, and fingers often freeze,
And travelers their noses sometimes leese.
Moist snowy February is my last,
I care not how the winter-time doth haste.
In Pisces now the golden sun doth shine,
And northward still approaches to the line.
The rivers ’gin to ope, the snows to melt,
And some warm glances from his face are felt;
Which is increased by the lengthen’d day,
Until by’s heat, he drive all cold away.
And thus the year in circle runneth round;
Where first it did begin, in th’ end its found.

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on December 16, 2023, by the Academy of American Poets.