Now in this twilight of the drifting snow
Draw close the curtain , kneel beside the fire :
Here is the end of dreaming and desire ,
Here , where the hours come softly , softly go
With formal courtesy , austere and slow ;
Heavy , relentless , murderously fine
The snow pursues an exquisite design
To break the bough and crush the cradle low .
Softly the snow falls , softly pass the hours ,
Softly the shroud enfolds a frozen guest ;
With gentle hands time waits to overthrow
Dominions , principalities and powers ;
Death seeks our kingdom : there is endless rest
Here in the twilight of the drifting snow .
Undated, but the writing and pen suggest not late in 1951