The city stood yawning at the dark end of the year Chimney smoke clinging to the tired-looking rain Last summer's leaves, dreams and invitations to the ball Lay greasy in the gutter or had long gone down the drain And while winter made a treadmill of each day That barred the way to spring It fell from a sky of slate The stillness that the snow brings
Snow on the rooftops threw the moon back at the dark Out on the marshes you could hear the cattle breathe Highways deserted, every footfall left its mark The magpie on the meadow and the fox across the heath. Frost on the window put the silversmith to shame With its wild imaginings They danced like a candle flame In the stillness that the snow brings.
The thorny undergrowth still waits beneath the drift Ragged iron and broken stone. Soon enough to find them when the frost begins to shift They'll get no sharper if for once you leave them on their own...
Ah but did you hear the silver notes and see the band Shine like white fire in the shadow of the mill? Or in the evening hear the notes the bellman sends Leap from the tower and tumble laughing down the hill? There'll still be summer and the chatter in the trees But let them wait to sing Just sink in up to your knees In the stillness that the snow brings.