HOLD to my lips the mirror of the night,
All the bold peerage of the ancient sky,
Those mythic figures pricked in steadfast light
That ravished the Chaldean shepherd’s eye.
Black frost is in the air, the woods are dark,
My season sinks, I know not where to turn.
Am I quite lifeless? Have I seed or spark
To wait the frost out, to revive and burn?
I see my mirrored breath hang silver faint,
The night’s one ghostly cloud. So then, not dead!
I have about me still the stubborn taint
That shows I live and have no need to die
While I can trace that white host overhead
And stain that fretted glass, though with a sigh.