The Magic of the Frost – Elizabeth Brainerd

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This came out of St. Nicholas Magazine, November 1927 edition. It is from the section entitled The St. Nicholas League. The children would earn real badges which would be mailed to them the following month for free.
According to the magazine —-

The St. Nicholas League is an organization of the readers of the St. Nicholas Magazine.
The League motto is “Live to learn and learn to live.” Its emblem is the “Stars and Stripes.”
The St. Nicholas League, organized in November, 1899, is popular with earnest young folks and is widely recognized as a great artistic, educational factor in the life of American girls and boys. It awards gold and silver badges each month for the best original poems, stories, drawings, photographs, puzzles, and puzzle answers.
Cash prizes of two, three, and five dollars each are awarded to Honor Members for respectively, their first, second, and third drawings, photographs, or written contributions published in the League. If in verse, the first may run to thirty lines; if in prose, to 350 words, the second, verse to 36 lines, prose to 400 words; the third, verse to 40 lines, prose to 500 words.

The subject was provided by the magazine, so depending on the form, the titles were the same. For the first one, I’ll share this poem. A 14 year old named Elizabeth Brainerd won a silver badge for this pensive poem. I think this girl had potential.

The Magic of the Frost
By Elizabeth Brainerd (Age 14)
(Silver Badge)

The magic of the frost is black,
The night of its attack,
It falls from out an inky sky,
And shrivels with the touch of icy lance,
The leaves of tender plants
That wither up and die.

The magic of the frost is red and gold,
The year is growing old,
And in its aging days, loves gaudy show,
Sunset’s glory, and the autumn trees—
What may a poet sing concerning these,
That was not said a thousand years ago?

The magic of the frost is white,
Dead fields are frosted in a night,
And fairyland appears upon the pane.
A mortal’s brush, of hair from camels clipped,
E’en though it were in melted diamonds dipped,
Would copy such a masterpiece in vain.

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