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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Jack Frost

(Holiday Snowflakes, stamps based on photographs by
Kenneth Libbrecht, professor of physics at Caltech)

There they are, the pages of an illustrated storybook printed on the window panes.


The door was shut, as doors should be,
Before you went to bed last night;
Yet Jack Frost has got in, you see,
And left your window silver white.

He must have waited till you slept;
And not a single word he spoke,
But penciled o’er the panes and crept
Away again before you woke.

And now you cannot see the hills
Nor fields that stretch beyond the lane;
But there are fairer things than these
His fingers traced on every pane.

Rocks and castles towering high;
Hills and dales, and streams and fields;
And knights in armor riding by,
With nodding plumes and shining shields.

And here are little boats, and there
Big ships with sails spread to the breeze;
And yonder, palm trees waving fair
On islands set in silver seas,

And butterflies with gauzy wings;
And herds of cows and flocks of sheep;
And fruit and flowers and all the things
You see when you are sound asleep.

For, creeping softly underneath
The door when all the lights are out,
Jack Frost takes every breath you breathe,
And knows the things you think about.

He paints them on the window-pane
In fairy lines with frozen steam;
And when you wake you see again
The lovely things you saw in dream.

~ Gabriel Setoun (1861-1930), pseudonym of Thomas Hepburn, Scottish poet and novelist


kiki latimer said...

to sleep

perchance to dream

perchance to sparkle

GretchenJoanna said...

That is very lovely...feels like it might grow in Stevenson's Garden of Verses and be plucked by me to enjoy and share with my grandchildren.