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Snow King


You fell asleep to steady rain

And woke just briefly once in bed

And heard no rain but felt the cold

And pulled your covers past your head.

Now wake to find your window bright

And world all white and freezing blue;

The morning sun looks on amazed—

 Come see what Snow King made for you.


Snow King quarried half the moon

And built for you in just one night

A splendid new white-marble Rome

For all your wonder and delight.

He watches for you from his throne,

For Snow King's one enduring joy

Is for his kingdom all of snow

To have a subject girl or boy.


He sees you in your scarf and coat

Wade through the drifts outside the door,

The puffs of vapor you breathe out,

And all your prints as you explore

The powder filled with colored stars

That Snow King sculptures at his will,

The streets all paved in perfect white,

The trees so laden and so still.


And Snow King says: stay here forever!

What reason can there be to go?

When all you'll ever need or wish for

I'll make for you from ice and snow!

Snow apricots in crystal bowls,

An ice zoo with snow bear and seal,

A candy store of hailstones!

A frozen swing and Ferris wheel—


Or everything but warmth and love.

For Snow King is so very old!

And never has he understood

His kingdom is so deathly cold.

He asks when summer so enchanted—

You played into each summer night!

But now you barely stay the morning.

And how can Snow King bear your slight.


 Snow tumbles from the evergreens

As back for home you make your way,

For Snow King trembles in his rage

And rules as king that you must stay.

He blows more drifts against your door

But you escape to Snow King's sorrow,

And now without you all his kingdom

Will thaw to ruins by tomorrow.


Look for Snow King in your window

In the night if you are woken;

He's throned amid his wintry art

And his frozen heart is broken,

With his shadow on the stale snow

And his crown and beard in rime,

And he cries just like an icicle,

One melting tear at a time.

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