by Percy Bysshe Shelley
The Tower of Famine

Summer and Winter

Published by Mrs. Shelley in "The Keepsake", 1829. Mr. C.W. Frederickson of Brooklyn possesses a transcript in Mrs. Shelley's handwriting.

 It was a bright and cheerful afternoon, Towards the end of the sunny month of June, When the north wind congregates in crowds The floating mountains of the silver clouds From the horizon-and the stainless sky  Opens beyond them like eternity. All things rejoiced beneath the sun; the weeds, The river, and the corn-fields, and the reeds; The willow leaves that glanced in the light breeze, And the firm foliage of the larger trees.  
 It was a winter such as when birds die In the deep forests; and the fishes lie Stiffened in the translucent ice, which makes Even the mud and slime of the warm lakes A wrinkled clod as hard as brick; and when,  Among their children, comfortable men Gather about great fires, and yet feel cold: Alas, then, for the homeless beggar old! 
 NOTE: _11 birds die 1839; birds do die 1829.