I know it must be winter (though I sleep)—
I know it must be winter, for I dream
I dip my bare feet in the running stream,
And flowers are many, and the grass grows deep.
I know I must be old (how age deceives!)
I know I must be old, for, all unseen,
My heart grows young, as autumn fields grow green
When late rains patter on the falling sheaves.
I know I must be tired (and tired souls err)—
I know I must be tired, for all my soul
To deeds of daring beats a glad, faint roll,
As storms the riven pine to music stir.
I know I must be dying (Death draws near)—
I know I must be dying, for I crave
Life—life, strong life, and think not of the grave,
And turf-bound silence, in the frosty year.
This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on January 4, 2020, by the Academy of American Poets.
About this Poem
“Winter Sleep” originally appeared in A Winter Swallow (Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1896).
Edith Matilda Thomas
Edith Matilda Thomas was born in Ohio in 1854. Her collections include A Winter Swallow (Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1896) and Fair Shadow Land (Houghton, Mifflin and Co., 1893). She died in 1925.
Date Published: 1896-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/winter-sleep