Sunday, February 12, 2017

A Game of Chess / Mortimer Collins

A Game of Chess

Terrace and lawn are white with frost,
Whose fretwork flowers upon the panes —
A mocking dream of summer, lost
'Mid winter's icy chains.

White-hot, indoors, the great logs gleam,
Veiled by a flickering flame of blue:
I see my love as in a dream —
Her eyes are azure, too

She binds her hair behind her ears
(Each little ear so like a shell),
Touches her ivory Queen, and fears
She is not playing well.

For me, I think of nothing less:
I think how those pure pearls become her —
And which is sweetest, winter chess
Or garden strolls in summer.

O linger, frost, upon the pane!
O faint blue flame, still softly rise!
O, dear one, thus with me remain,
That I may watch thine eyes!

Mortimer Collins (1827-1876)
from The Inn of Strange Meetings, 1871

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Mortimer Collins biography

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