Like a long winding-sheet unrolled
Across the garden snow is spread,
And silent in the midnight cold
The pallid fountain rears its head.
Around its gaunt base three poplars grey
Stand hooded with a soft frost lace,
And like tall ghosts they gently sway;
Shapes of the grave their shadows trace
On the great marble house' white face.
The silver moon hath blanched to white,
And fleecy clouds float shivering by.
Out of the house into the night
Glides a pale lady quietly;
A Persian cat, cream-colored, stalks
Behind her, while with bended head
She slowly through the garden walks,
Risen up from a downy bed,
Lost in dreams she is hither led.
Her night-gown gleams like ivory,
Its silken folds round her limbs cling;
O'er the snow she treads tremblingly,
The bitter wind her blood doth sting.
A bride-rose freezes in her hair,
Her little feet are bare and white;
She quivers in the icy air,
And wakes with scream of wild affright,
Bathed in a stream of pale moonlight.