Featured Poem: Lines Written on a Window at the Leasowes at a Time of Very Deep Snow by William Shenstone

The Reader’s Head of Publications, Amanda Brown, reflects on this week’s Featured Poem, Lines Written on a Window at the Leasowes at a Time of Very Deep Snow by William Shenstone.

What a title! What memories of the steamed-up windows and cold finger tip of childhood! But this is a grown-up doing the writing – what might make him do that?

What about the line

When every studious pulse beats low,
What does my wish require?

Do you remember ever feeling like this? What might it feel like to be literally ‘besieged with snow’? Why might you’ve been granted licence to ponder ‘what does my wish require?’ What do you make of ‘winter-proof’ friends? How do you feel about his other wishes in this verse?

I’m struck by the repetition in the second verse – what do you make of that? And how about the line, ‘And bless me with thy stay?’ I wonder what would prompt the writing of the last two lines – what do you think?

Lines Written on a Window at the Leasowes at a Time of Very Deep Snow

In this small fort, besieged with snow,
When every studious pulse beats low,
What does my wish require?
Some sprightly girls beneath my roof,
Some friends sincere and winter-proof,
A bottle and a fire.
Prolong, O snow, prolong thy siege!
With these, thou wilt but more oblige,
And bless me with thy stay;
Extend, extend thy frigid reign,
My few sincerer friends detain,
And keep false friends away.

by William Shenstone

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