Mist And Frost

A poem by Duncan Campbell Scott

Veil-like and beautiful
Gathered the dutiful
Mist in the night,
True to the messaging,
Dreamful and presaging
Vapour and light.

Ghostly and chill it is,
Pallid and still it is,
Sudden uprist;
What is there tragical,
Moving or magical,
Hid in the mist?

Millions of essences,
Fairy-like presences
Formless as yet;
Light-riven spangles,
Crystalline tangles
Floating unset.

Frost will come shepherding
Nowise enjeoparding
Frondage or flower;
Just a degree of it,
Nought can we see of it
Only its power.

Earth like a Swimmer
Plunged into the dimmer
Wave of the night,
Now is uprisen,
An Elysian vision
Of spray and of light.

'Tis the intangible
Delicate frangible
Secret of mist,
Breathing may banish it,
Thought may evanish it, -
Ponder and whist!

Passionless purity,
Calmness in surety
Dwells everywhere,
A winnowed whiteness,
A lunar lightness
Glows in the air.

But in the heart of it
Every least part of it
Blooms with the charm,
Star-shape and frondage
Broken from bondage
Forged into form.

Crystals encrusted,
Diamonds dusted
Line everything,
Tiny the stencillings
Are as the pencillings
On a moth's wing.

And O, what a wonder!
No farther asunder
Than atoms are laid,
The arches and angles
Of star-froth and spangles
Cast their own shade.

Out from the chalices,
The pigmy palaces
Where the tint hides,
Opal and sapphire
Half-pearl and half-fire
The colour slides;

Till the frail miracle
Rapturous lyrical
Flushes and glows
With a wraith of florescence
That tempers or lessens
The light of the snows.

Held all aquiver, -
But now with a shiver
The power of the sun
Dissolves the laces
Of the tender mazes,
All is undone.

But the old Earth brooding,
All wisdom including,
Affirms and assures
That above the material,
Triumphal imperial
Beauty endures.

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