The golden summer now is over,
And the flowers have lived their day,
No more the laughing, merry sunshine,
Till the winter’s passed away.
In summertime the golden flowers
(Born in merry, genial May)
Make the world a new creation,
When the winter’s passed away.
And the little murm’ring streamlet
Sung a soothing roundelay;
But wild now, with strong emotion,
Chiding winter far away.
Now the fitful, boist’rous whirlwinds
Round my cottage daily stay,
In vain I sigh for gentler breezes;
When will winter pass away?
No more the merry sunbeams smile,
All is sober, cold, and gray;
Oh! come and smile on earth, and drive
This dread winter far away.
And the shady, happy woodland,
With sweet songs no longer gay;
In brighter scenes, these music strains
Chase the winter winds away.
And my days are like this winter,
Full of deepest, darkest fear;
And my life, like leaves in autumn,
Dull and sapless, cold and sere.
No careless word to make me glad,
No music of some spirit fair
To cheer me in my lonely rambles
Though this wint’ry world of care.
Still the coming brightness cheers me,
Where the heaven’s sun’s sweet mellow rays
Fall upon my heart, which, melting,
Breathes the song of happier days.
Preston, Nov. 20th, 1861.


Author:J. Holding

Publication:Ormskirk Advertiser

Published in:

Date:November 21st 1861

Keywords:domestic, metaphor


This poem is characteristic of literary works which utilise the ‘pathetic fallacy’, the use of the weather to denote moods, themes, or emotions. Such tropes were common through the Romantic and Victorian poems and, in itself, there is nothing particularly remarkable about this verse, except that it is published in a cotton district, just as the effects of the Cotton famine begin to take hold, as winter sets in. Within a year or so, half of the population of the town of Preston would be seeking food relief due to unemployment, and it is possible to read the seventh stanza as a reflection of a growing sense of dread over the worsening economic situation. – SR