The Snow Queen

MichaelBurgess 1975:  

The Snow Queen shook her milk-white mantle, cast her heavy clouds on high.  Light she was, with grey eyes smould'ring, carcanet of diamonds gleaming, pale-tipped like a crown of ice.  The pine-trees on their lofty mountain covered she with glimmering coat, tapped her wand upon the hillside, wove her frosty nets of weather, brought the Winter's chilly cold.  And in the hollows frost she gathered, painted o'er the grass with rime.  She sang of laden rowans bending, bare of leaf with frozen branches, mirror-meres reflecting stars.

   While deep within the glittered gloaming, where the windy owls were roaming, stole the wily fox of night, with eyes so bright and tail of gold, so crafty-old he slyly came.  He played among the withered flowers, crept between the waning hours, stalked beneath the leafless bowers, searching for the spoor of supper.  Down behind him fell the crystals, covered all his slot and hid it, clean and trackless all the earth.

   Alas! the larch in blizzard weeping, far beyond the crags of stone, berimmed with hoar and friendless frost, bewitched with ice and fingers clinging, parched and hungry all its roots.  Lonely in the storms of Winter, bowed with granite pinnacles, hung about with shivering needles, silver-white the icicles.

   Windy was the weathered world, the snow it hurled from clouds uncurled, but slowly smiling came the moonlight, scattered all the wreaths of mist.  And out between the mountain spires shone the stars with brilliant beards.  The Snow Queen folded up her mantle, cast away her crown of Winter, melted in the mellow thaw.  Beyond the night-fall came the golden, amber-eyed the rising sun.  He warmed the wildness in the weather, breathed upon the sleeping flowers, gave his glow to wake the earth.

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