(''The frost performs its secret ministry unhelped by any wind.'') Coleridge It happened swiftly as a dream Last night against a furbished sky. Deception! Poised on every blade and branch: The withered head of Queen Anne's lace Transformed into a sequined chalice; Each leaf - into a silver slate. An empty milkweed pod had hieroglyphs In crystal on its face. A goldenrod with webs of filigree That in deceptive light Wrote tomes on parchment Of the night. The grass encased in silver As if all spiders spun their webs Around the windows of the earth. This swift work done in secret ministry, Captured on film of frost - Unhappily dissolved when darkness paled Into prosaic dawn.