Verse > Anthologies > Hunt and Lee, eds. > The Book of the Sonnet
Hunt and Lee, comps.  The Book of the Sonnet.  1867.
II. The Christmas Solitude Varied with the Christmas Streets
By Alexander Smith (1830–1867)
SHEATHED is the river as it glideth by,
Frost-pearled are all the boughs in forest old,
The sheep are huddling close upon the wold,
And over them the stars tremble on high.
Pure joys these winter-nights around me lie;        5
’T is fine to loiter through the lighted streets
At Christmas time, and guess from brow and pace
The doom and history of each one we meet,
What kind of heart beats in each dusky case;
Whiles startled by the beauty of a face        10
In a shop-light a moment. Or, instead,
To dream of silent fields, where calm and deep
The sunshine lieth like a golden sleep,—
Recalling sweetest looks of summers dead.

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