'Tis the hour when white-horsed Day
Chases Night her mares away;
When the Gates of Dawn (they say)
And I gather that the Queen
May be uniformly seen,
Should the weather be serene,
On the slopes.
When the ploughman, as he goes
Leathern-gaitered o'er the snows,
From his hat and from his nose
Knocks the ice;
And the panes are frosted o'er,
And the lawn is crisp and hoar,
As has been observed before
Once or twice.
When arrayed in breastplate red
Sings the robin, for his bread,
On the elmtree that hath shed
While, within, the frost benumbs
The still sleepy schoolboy's thumbs,
And in consequence his sums
Come to grief.
But when breakfast-time hath come,
And he's crunching crust and crumb,
He'll no longer look a glum
But be brisk as bees that settle
On a summer rose's petal:
Wherefore, Polly, put the kettle
On at once.
This poem is in the public domain.