The Ice King's Reign
The sun had gone down with promises sweet,
When, keen from the north, the wind
Came blustering along on its coursers fleet,
And left frozen tracks behind.
Maude stood at the window; the moon shimmered down
On whirling leaves, stiff and dead,
All piteously driven; she turned with a frown,
And soft to herself she said:—
"The old tyrant Winter leaves nothing to prize,
Leaves nothing that's bright or fair;
He has stolen the blue from the bending skies,
The warmth from the earth and air.
"The summer's dear blossoms are withered and dead;
My garden is brown and bare;
The chipper of birds in the nest overhead
Is hushed, for no birdlings are here.
"The woodlands no longer are shady and sweet,
Dry leafage encumbers the ground;
The pathways, once verdant and soft to my feet,
In fetters of ice are bound.
"The pride of the barn-yard sits humped with the cold,
One frozen foot under his wing;
And the sheep huddle closely, for warmth, in their fold;
The ice tyrant reigns as king."
She turns from this picture of ruin and death,
And seeks the broad casement again;
And, lo! from the dews of her wasted breath
Great forests have grown on the pane.
Such beautiful trees! such ferns! and such flowers!
Such rivers and mountains bold!
Such charming cascades! she gazes for hours,
And worships the ice king cold.