Anyone living in my part of the world is now digging out from one of the worst storms of the winter. But tonight, we will enjoy being safe and warm inside by the fire as the world around us sleeps silently in snow. This poem by William Cowper evokes the feeling that so many of us have on nights like this…
Domestic Enjoyment of a Winter Evening
Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round!
And while the bubbling and loud-hissing urn
Throws up a steamy column, and the cups,
Which cheer, but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful evening in.
~By William Cowper (English poet, 1731 – 1800)
This poem and illustration are from Poems for Practical People, gems from a rather odd poetry collection: Harrap’s Practical English Series, selected and arranged by Alfred Edward MacDuff Bayliss (George C. Harrap & Co. Ltd, 1951) and illustrated by N.C. Jaques.
This little English literature primer was owned and scribbled in by many students. One reader (possibly bored and aching for the bell to ring) doodled a more suitable title on the cover: “Poems for UnPractical People”:
And what a bargain for only .50c!