Jak O' the Frost, or: The ExcuseI went walking in the woods
but though I left alone
Jak O' the Frost, his own self,
soon met me on the road.
Merry he went beside me
he whistled and capered and shrieked
but when I turned, Jak O' the Frost
pinched me on the cheek.
He turned the brush to flame and gold
set sparkling every stone
but when I paused to watch him work
Jak smote me to the bone.
The trees went up like fireworks
their branches crackled with ice
and between the trees the Moon's silver legs
came flashing stride by stride.
Jak O' the Frost took the Moon by hand
they danced among the trees
til each trunk like a glittering lance
shone amid the freeze!
Well, my dear, that's where I've been
and that is why I'm late
and I'd be out there still except
for this thought gave me haste:
Old Man Winter soon walks abroad
he'll pinch off all the leaves
and grind them down beneath his heel
to spite Jak's pretty trees,
And if he should catch me out-of-doors
with my coat so poor and thin –
– yes, I know we had to mind