The Strange Painter


HAVE you heard of the marvelous painter,

Who wanders at will through the land

Most dainty the delicate sketching

That's wrought by his magical hand;

Lofty the mountains and rocks stand;

And his forests, in silvery sheen,

With their glory of clear graven branches,

Are fit haunts for the gay queen.

Ah, wondrous the work of the painter!

Proud castles, with parapet bold,

Grim ruins, o'ergrown with the ivy,

His deft fingers quickly unfold,

And at midnight, this lover of cold

Cuts, glittering, icy, and white,

His exquisite carvings in hoar frost,

Which glisten at dawning of light.

Beware the chill breath of the painter!

For fatal his nearness, and dread;

He kisses our flowers in the autumn,

And back from his touch they fall dead.

He brings the trees gold robes and red,

And gaily his coming they greet,

But from gentle approach of the springtime

He hastens with swift-flying feet.

Can you tell now the name of the painter,

This prince of the winter months drear

Soft over the panes, while we slumber,

Glides his pencil in lines crystal clear;

And yet, as the mid-day draws near,

Though fair are his pictures, and fine,

They vanish, like mist of the morning,

Before the sun's conquering shine.




Florence Brown.