First Frost

Sun sent warm rays through October days,
Grass was still growing as though it was Spring;
But now in the night sky Orion stands guard
As gardens endure the iced air’s deep sting.

Frost thrusts cold fingers where flowers still linger,
Stiffens the soil and benumbs the late bud,
Shrivels green shoots and bites off the petals,
And turns the wall creeper the colour of blood.

The garden by dawn is a morgue where the frost
Shrouds little corpses of late blooms and fruits;
Hoar-covered beech trees, like surpliced high priests,
Mourn the dead flowers that lie round their roots.

Then, sudden as sunshine, a mistle thrush sings,
Thawing the air with his sonnet to Spring.