Outside the blast is making riot,
And through the darkness the snowflakes fall;
Here in my little room all is quiet,
Warm and dry, and so snug withal.
Musing I sit on my cushioned settle,
Facing the firelight's fitful shine;
Sings on the hob the simmering kettle,
Songs that seem echoes of "auld lang syne."
And close beside me the cat sits purring,
Warming her paws at the cheery gleam;
The flames keep flitting, and flickering, and whirring, -
My mind is lapped in a realm of dream.
Many long, long forgotten summers
Rise up, wraith-like, before my view,
Some in the brightness of masking mummers,
Some with their splendors bedimmed in hue.
Lovely, serene-faced women sweetly
Meanings divine in a glance convey;
Revellers, mingling among them fleetly,
Caper and laugh, and are madly gay.
Marble gods in the distance tower;
Near them, dream-like in beauty rare,
Is a fairy grove that has burst in flower,
And sheds perfume on the moonlit air.
Castles full many of wizard story
Totter along with their crests awry;
Knights behind them, in full-plumed glory,
With troops of their squires come riding by.
'Tis gone! The beautiful dream is over!
Away like a phantom the pageant draws!
Oh dear! The kettle is boiling over,
And pussy is yelling with scalded paws.