First Frost [poem by C. J. Dennis]

[Editor: This poem by C. J. Dennis was published in The Singing Garden (1935).]

First Frost

Now comes an end to quiet autumn days
And to frail loveliness. In the still night
Cold death has crept along the garden ways
To wrap at last about each blossom bright
Its funeral garment white.
And where a myriad cruel prisms blaze,
Ironically now the sun’s kind rays
Shine but to blast and blight.

One hour of beauty on this shining morn —
White, mocking beauty while the frost rime clings.
Then bud and blossom, fashioned to adorn
The earth, are but a heap of blackened things,
All loveliness takes wings . . .
And yet, not all! Still in a land forlorn,
Most valiantly by a glowing thorn,
A grey thrush sweetly sings.

C. J. Dennis, The Singing Garden, Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1935, page 114

Editor’s notes:
morn = morning

rime = archaic spelling of “rhyme” (may also refer to the frost which forms on cold objects from the freezing of water vapour from clouds or fogs)

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