The Frost looked forth, one still, clear night,
And whispered, "Now I shall be out of sight;
So through the valley and over the height,
In silence I'll take my way:
I will not go on with that blustering train,
The wind and the snow, the hail and the rain,
That make so much bustle and noise in vain,
But I'll be as busy as they."
So he flew to the mountain and powdered its crest;
He lit on the trees, and their boughs he dressed
With diamonds and pearls; and over the breast
Of the quivering lake he spread
A coat of mail, that it need not fear
The glittering point of many a spear
That hung on its margin, far and near,
Where a rock could rear its head.
He went to the window of those who slept,
And over each pane, like a fairy, crept;
Wherever he breathed, wherever he stepped,
By the morning light were seen
Most beautiful things!—there were flowers and trees;
There were bevies of birds and swarms of bees;
There were cities, and temples, and towers, and these
All pictured in silvery sheen!
But he did one thing that was hardly fair;
He peeped in the cupboard, and finding there
That all had forgotten for him to prepare—
"Now just to set them a-thinking,
I'll bite this basket of fruit," said he,
"This costly pitcher I'll burst in three,
And the glass of water they've left for me
Shall 'tchick!' to tell them I'm drinking."