HOW small a tooth hath mined the season’s heart!
How cold a touch hath set the wood on fire,
Until it blazes like a costly pyre
Built for some Ganges emperor, old and swart,
Soul-sped on clouds of incense! Whose the art
That webs the streams, each morn, with silver wire,
Delicate as the tension of a lyre,—
Whose falchion pries the chestnut-bur apart?
It is the Frost, a rude and Gothic sprite,
Who doth unbuild the Summer’s palaced wealth,
And puts her dear loves all to sword or flight;
Yet in the hushed, unmindful winter’s night
The spoiler builds again with jealous stealth,
And sets a mimic garden, cold and bright.