The Winter-Boy

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The Winter-Boy
written by Walter de la Mare
Poems (1906)

I saw Jack Frost come louping o'er
A hill of blinding snow;
And hooked upon his arm he bore
A basket all aglow.

Cherries and damsons, peach and pear,
The faint and moonlike quince;
Never before were fruits as rare,
And never have been since.

"Come, will ye buy, ma'am?" says he sweet;
And lo! began to fly
Flakes of bright, arrowy, frozen sleet
From out the rosy sky.

"Silver nor pence, ma'am, ask I; but
One kiss my cheek to warm, —
One with your scarlet lips tight shut
Can do you, ma'am, no harm."

O, and I stooped in that still place
And pressed my lips to his;
And his cold locks about my face
Shut darkness in my eyes.

Never, now never shall I be
Lonely where snow is laid;
Sweet with his fruits comes louping he,
And says the words he said.

His shrill voice echoes, slily creep
His fingers cold and lean,
And lull my dazzled eyes asleep
His icy locks between.

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