Mist and Frost (Poem by Duncan Campbell Scott)

Suggested Poem


Mist and Frost
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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