Woodland Queen

Now sits the woodland queen upon her throne
Of hard-wrought oakwood, cold and bare of leaves
And wreathed with frost — with tendrils twined and grown
In its intricacies, which soon the snow
Will hide from sight. The cobwebs fly
About the roots, where still the grey ground grieves
For long-past summer, with a sorrowed eye
And all about are blown
The seeds which some swift, tireless figure weaves
Into the coming spring, weaves winter through
In waiting for the sun. Here are the threads
And loom — the wind and frost undo
Their work, unravel all their weary task
Before the year is spent, and gladly sheds
Her glory for a time, adopts a mask
Of grey forbearance, grim and glassy thought:
A silent spectre, seeming made for frost
As bees are made for honey. There in wait
She watches, where the scattered winds have brought
Before her all the treasures of her state,
The berried branches, never withering,
The nut and acorn, ere they could be lost
Beneath the snow, the sedges lingering
Beside the lake, ice-caught —
Her crown reflected, captive, shimmering.

Isobel Granby
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