The Book of the Native

by Charles G.D. Roberts


The Stillness of the Frost


Out of the frost-white wood comes winnowing through
    No wing; no homely call or cry is heard.
    Even the hope of life seems far deferred.
    The hard hills ache beneath their spectral hue.
A dove-gray cloud, tender as tears or dew,
    From one lone hearth exhaling, hangs unstirred,
    Like the poised ghost of some unnamed great bird
    In the ineffable pallor of the blue.
Such, I must think, even at the dawn of Time,
    Was thy white hush, O world, when thou lay’st cold,
    Unwaked to love, new from the Maker’s word,
And the spheres, watching, stilled their high accord,
    To marvel at perfection in thy mould,
    The grace of thine austerity sublime!