Mary Mapes Dodge

The Frost King

Oho! have you seen the Frost King,

A-marching up the hill?

His hoary face is stern and pale,

His touch is icy chill.

He sends the birdlings to the South,

He bids the brooks be still;

Yet not in wrath or cruelty

He marches up the hill.

He will often rest at noontime,

To see the sunbeams play;

And flash his spears of icicles,

Or let them melt away.

He'll toss the snowflakes in the air,

Nor let them go nor stay;

Then hold his breath while swift they fall,

That coasting boys may play.

He'll touch the brooks and rivers wide,

That skating crowds may shout;

He'll make the people far and near

Remember he's about.

He'll send his nimble, frosty Jack—

Without a shade of doubt—

To do all kinds of merry pranks,

And call the children out;

He'll sit upon the whitened fields,

And reach his icy hand

O'er houses where the sudden cold

Folks cannot understand.

The very moon, that ventures forth

From clouds so soft and grand,

Will stare to see the stiffened look

That settles o'er the land.

And so the Frost King o'er the hills,

And o'er the startled plain,

Will come and go from year to year

Till Earth grows young again—

Till Time himself shall cease to be,

Till gone are hill and plain:

Whenever Winter comes to stay,

The hoary King shall reign.