When Frost was spectre-gray, (2)
Man's like a ghost. Frost's like a ghost. Frankly, it's hard to tell the humans from the rest of the background in this poem. Which is part of the point. After all, when everything's death-bound, why make distinctions?
And Winter's dregs made desolateThe weakening eye of day. (3-4)
We've said it before and we'll say it again: nature takes on human characteristics. Heck, day has an "eye." That doesn't stop it from dying, though…which is odd, because nature doesn't actually die, does it? Hmm…
The tangled bine-stems scored the skyLike strings of broken lyres, (5-6)
Check out all of the alliteration in these lines. Not only is it an elaborate metaphor (vine = lyre), but it's chock-full of harsh-sounding "k"s and guttural "g"s – which makes the line sound as clogged on your tongue as the tangled vines are supposed to look in your mind. Aw, Hardy, you're so good!