Verse > John Greenleaf Whittier > The Poetical Works in Four Volumes
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John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–1892).  The Poetical Works in Four Volumes.  1892.
 
Poems of Nature
The Frost Spirit
 
HE comes,—he comes,—the Frost Spirit comes! You may trace his footsteps now
On the naked woods and the blasted fields and the brown hill’s withered brow.
He has smitten the leaves of the gray old trees where their pleasant green came forth,
And the winds, which follow wherever he goes, have shaken them down to earth.
 
He comes,—he comes,—the Frost Spirit comes! from the frozen Labrador,        5
From the icy bridge of the Northern seas, which the white bear wanders o’er,
Where the fisherman’s sail is stiff with ice, and the luckless forms below
In the sunless cold of the lingering night into marble statues grow!
 
He comes,—he comes,—the Frost Spirit comes! on the rushing Northern blast,
And the dark Norwegian pines have bowed as his fearful breath went past.        10
With an unscorched wing he has hurried on, where the fires of Hecla glow
On the darkly beautiful sky above and the ancient ice below.
 
He comes,—he comes,—the Frost Spirit comes! and the quiet lake shall feel
The torpid touch of his glazing breath, and ring to the skater’s heel;
And the streams which danced on the broken rocks, or sang to the leaning grass,        15
Shall bow again to their winter chain, and in mournful silence pass.
 
He comes,—he comes,—the Frost Spirit comes! Let us meet him as we may,
And turn with the light of the parlor-fire his evil power away;
And gather closer the circle round, when that firelight dances high,
And laugh at the shriek of the baffled Fiend as his sounding wing goes by!

  1830.
        20
 
 
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