It comes to us from soundless realms of air,
When elfin fingers of the ice or snow
Make homeliest things look wondrous strange and fair.
Crystals of emerald and of amethyst
Transform the violet borders eastward set;
The hills gleam faintly through a silver mist,
And diamonds flash amongst the mignonette.
Each grass-blade is a knife of pale-green jade
Sheathed in a scabbard of the clearest glass;
Of Orient pearl the Jonquil cups are made,
Across the woods half seen white vapours pass.
King Robin Redbreast rules the orchard now,
His small brown queen his praises chirping shrill;
With scarlet flame he decks the leafless bough
And shames the gold upon the Daffodil.
And so our childhood's dreams come true at last,
And airy fairy "castles built in Spain."
The artist of the Frost is fleeting fast;
But he has brought old fancies back again.
First published in The Queenslander, 27 August 1892
Author reference site: Austlit