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