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When Cold December

 WHEN cold December 
Froze to grisamber 
The jangling bells on the sweet rose-trees-- 
Then fading slow 
And furred is the snow 
As the almond's sweet husk-- 
And smelling like musk.
The snow amygdaline Under the eglantine Where the bristling stars shine Like a gilt porcupine-- The snow confesses The little Princesses On their small chioppines Dance under the orpines.
See the casuistries Of their slant fluttering eyes-- Gilt as the zodiac (Dancing Herodiac).
Only the snow slides Like gilded myrrh-- From the rose-branches--hides Rose-roots that stir.

by Dame Edith Sitwell
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