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Snow Poems

Table of Contents

  1. Snow-Bound by John Greenleaf Whittier
  2. The First Snow-Fall by James Russell Lowell
  3. A Clinging Snow by Anonymous
  4. The Snow-Flake by Hannah Flagg Gould
  5. It Snows by Hannah Flagg Gould
  6. A Snow-Flake by Thomas Bailey Aldrich
  7. The Snow Man by Marian Douglas
  8. Snow Falling by John James Piatt
  9. The Snowstorm by James Thomson
  10. The Snow Shower by William Cullen Bryant
  11. It Snows by Sarah Josepha Hale
  12. The Snow by Emily Dickinson
  13. Before the Snow by Bliss Carman
  14. Old Sis Snow by Madison Cawein
  15. Snow by Adelaide Crapsey
  16. Snow by Elizabeth Akers Allen
  17. Snow Storm by John Clare
  18. To a Snow-Flake by Francis Thompson
  19. Snow-Flakes by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  20. The First Snow-Fall by John B. Tabb
  21. Dust of Snow by Robert Frost
  22. Lucy Gray by William Wordsworth
  23. Snow Ralph E. McMillin
  24. The Snow-Flakes Richard Coe
  25. Out in the Snow Louise Chandler Moulton
  26. London Snow Robert Seymour Bridges
  27. A Patch of Old Snow by Robert Frost
  28. The Snowstorm by James W. Whilt
  29. Snow-Flakes by Kate Slaughter McKinney
  30. Shovelling Snow by Harry Edward Mills
  31. Falling Snow by Anonymous
  32. Tiny Little Snowflakes by Lucy Larcom
  33. Gently Falling by Emma Louise Clapp
  34. The Snowflake by Margaret E. Sangster

  1. Snow-Bound

    by John Greenleaf Whittier

    A Winter Idyl

    “Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,
    Arrives the snow, and, driving o’er the fields,
    Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air
    Hides hills and woods, the river and the heaven,
    And veils the farm-house at the garden’s end.
    The sled and traveller stopped, the courier’s feet
    Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit
    Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed
    In a tumultuous privacy of Storm.”

    – Ralph Waldo Emerson
    The Snow-Storm

    The sun that brief December day
    Rose cheerless over hills of gray,
    And, darkly circled, gave at noon
    A sadder light than waning moon.
    Slow tracing down the thickening sky
    Its mute and ominous prophecy,
    A portent seeming less than threat,
    It sank from sight before it set.
    A chill no coat, however stout,
    Of homespun stuff could quite shut out,
    A hard, dull bitterness of cold,
    That checked, mid-vein, the circling race
    Of life-blood in the sharpened face,
    The coming of the snow-storm told.
    The wind blew east; we heard the roar
    Of Ocean on his wintry shore,
    And felt the strong pulse throbbing there
    Beat with low rhythm our inland air.

    Meanwhile we did our nightly chores,—
    Brought in the wood from out of doors,
    Littered the stalls, and from the mows
    Raked down the herd’s-grass for the cows;
    Heard the horse whinnying for his corn;
    And, sharply clashing horn on horn,
    Impatient down the stanchion rows
    The cattle shake their walnut bows;
    While, peering from his early perch
    Upon the scaffold’s pole of birch,
    The cock his crested helmet bent
    And down his querulous challenge sent.

    Unwarmed by any sunset light
    The gray day darkened into night,
    A night made hoary with the swarm
    And whirl-dance of the blinding storm,
    As zigzag, wavering to and fro,
    Crossed and recrossed the wingéd snow:
    And ere the early bedtime came
    The white drift piled the window-frame,
    And through the glass the clothes-line posts
    Looked in like tall and sheeted ghosts.

    So all night long the storm roared on:
    The morning broke without a sun;
    In tiny spherule traced with lines
    Of Nature’s geometric signs,
    In starry flake, and pellicle,
    All day the hoary meteor fell;
    And, when the second morning shone,
    We looked upon a world unknown,
    On nothing we could call our own.
    Around the glistening wonder bent
    The blue walls of the firmament,
    No cloud above, no earth below,—
    A universe of sky and snow!
    The old familiar sights of ours
    Took marvellous shapes; strange domes and towers
    Rose up where sty or corn-crib stood,
    Or garden-wall, or belt of wood;
    A smooth white mound the brush-pile showed,
    A fenceless drift what once was road;
    The bridle-post an old man sat
    With loose-flung coat and high cocked hat;
    The well-curb had a Chinese roof;
    And even the long sweep, high aloof,
    In its slant splendor, seemed to tell
    Of Pisa’s leaning miracle.

    A prompt, decisive man, no breath
    Our father wasted: “Boys, a path!”
    Well pleased, (for when did farmer boy
    Count such a summons less than joy?)
    Our buskins on our feet we drew;
    With mittened hands, and caps drawn low,
    To guard our necks and ears from snow,
    We cut the solid whiteness through.
    And, where the drift was deepest, made
    A tunnel walled and overlaid
    With dazzling crystal: we had read
    Of rare Aladdin’s wondrous cave,
    And to our own his name we gave,
    With many a wish the luck were ours
    To test his lamp’s supernal powers.
    We reached the barn with merry din,
    And roused the prisoned brutes within.
    The old horse thrust his long head out,
    And grave with wonder gazed about;
    The cock his lusty greeting said,
    And forth his speckled harem led;
    The oxen lashed their tails, and hooked,
    And mild reproach of hunger looked;
    The hornéd patriarch of the sheep,
    Like Egypt’s Amun roused from sleep,
    Shook his sage head with gesture mute,
    And emphasized with stamp of foot.

    All day the gusty north-wind bore
    The loosening drift its breath before;
    Low circling round its southern zone,
    The sun through dazzling snow-mist shone.
    No church-bell lent its Christian tone
    To the savage air, no social smoke
    Curled over woods of snow-hung oak.
    A solitude made more intense
    By dreary-voicéd elements,
    The shrieking of the mindless wind,
    The moaning tree-boughs swaying blind,
    And on the glass the unmeaning beat
    Of ghostly finger-tips of sleet.
    Beyond the circle of our hearth
    No welcome sound of toil or mirth
    Unbound the spell, and testified
    Of human life and thought outside.
    We minded that the sharpest ear
    The buried brooklet could not hear,
    The music of whose liquid lip
    Had been to us companionship,
    And, in our lonely life, had grown
    To have an almost human tone.

    As night drew on, and, from the crest
    Of wooded knolls that ridged the west,
    The sun, a snow-blown traveller, sank
    From sight beneath the smothering bank,
    We piled, with care, our nightly stack
    Of wood against the chimney-back,—
    The oaken log, green, huge, and thick,
    And on its top the stout back-stick;
    The knotty forestick laid apart,
    And filled between with curious art
    The ragged brush; then, hovering near,
    We watched the first red blaze appear,
    Heard the sharp crackle, caught the gleam
    On whitewashed wall and sagging beam,
    Until the old, rude-furnished room
    Burst, flower-like, into rosy bloom;
    While radiant with a mimic flame
    Outside the sparkling drift became,
    And through the bare-boughed lilac-tree
    Our own warm hearth seemed blazing free.
    The crane and pendent trammels showed,
    The Turks’ heads on the andirons glowed;
    While childish fancy, prompt to tell
    The meaning of the miracle,
    Whispered the old rhyme: “Under the tree,
    When fire outdoors burns merrily,
    There the witches are making tea.”

    The moon above the eastern wood
    Shone at its full; the hill-range stood
    Transfigured in the silver flood,
    Its blown snows flashing cold and keen,
    Dead white, save where some sharp ravine
    Took shadow, or the sombre green
    Of hemlocks turned to pitchy black
    Against the whiteness at their back.
    For such a world and such a night
    Most fitting that unwarming light,
    Which only seemed where’er it fell
    To make the coldness visible.

    Shut in from all the world without,
    We sat the clean-winged hearth about,
    Content to let the north-wind roar
    In baffled rage at pane and door,
    While the red logs before us beat
    The frost-line back with tropic heat;
    And ever, when a louder blast
    Shook beam and rafter as it passed,
    The merrier up its roaring draught
    The great throat of the chimney laughed;
    The house-dog on his paws outspread
    Laid to the fire his drowsy head,
    The cat’s dark silhouette on the wall
    A couchant tiger’s seemed to fall;
    And, for the winter fireside meet,
    Between the andirons’ straddling feet,
    The mug of cider simmered slow,
    The apples sputtered in a row,
    And, close at hand, the basket stood
    With nuts from brown October’s wood.

    What matter how the night behaved?
    What matter how the north-wind raved?
    Blow high, blow low, not all its snow
    Could quench our hearth-fire’s ruddy glow.
    O Time and Change!—with hair as gray
    As was my sire’s that winter day,
    How strange it seems, with so much gone
    Of life and love, to still live on!
    Ah, brother! only I and thou
    Are left of all that circle now,—
    The dear home faces whereupon
    That fitful firelight paled and shone.
    Henceforward, listen as we will,
    The voices of that hearth are still;
    Look where we may, the wide earth o’er,
    Those lighted faces smile no more.
    We tread the paths their feet have worn,
    We sit beneath their orchard trees,
    We hear, like them, the hum of bees
    And rustle of the bladed corn;
    We turn the pages that they read,
    Their written words we linger o’er,
    But in the sun they cast no shade,
    No voice is heard, no sign is made,
    No step is on the conscious floor!
    Yet Love will dream, and Faith will trust,
    (Since He who knows our need is just,)
    That somehow, somewhere, meet we must.
    Alas for him who never sees
    The stars shine through his cypress-trees!
    Who, hopeless, lays his dead away,
    Nor looks to see the breaking day
    Across the mournful marbles play!
    Who hath not learned, in hours of faith,
    The truth to flesh and sense unknown,
    That Life is ever lord of Death,
    And Love can never lose its own!

    We sped the time with stories old,
    Wrought puzzles out, and riddles told,
    Or stammered from our school-book lore
    “The Chief of Gambia’s golden shore.”
    How often since, when all the land
    Was clay in Slavery’s shaping hand,
    As if a trumpet called, I've heard
    Dame Mercy Warren's rousing word:
    “Does not the voice of reason cry,
    Claim the first right which Nature gave,
    From the red scourge of bondage to fly,
    Nor deign to live a burdened slave!”
    Our father rode again his ride
    On Memphremagog’s wooded side;
    Sat down again to moose and samp
    In trapper’s hut and Indian camp;
    Lived o’er the old idyllic ease
    Beneath St. François’ hemlock-trees;
    Again for him the moonlight shone
    On Norman cap and bodiced zone;
    Again he heard the violin play
    Which led the village dance away.
    And mingled in its merry whirl
    The grandam and the laughing girl.
    Or, nearer home, our steps he led
    Where Salisbury’s level marshes spread
    Mile-wide as flies the laden bee;
    Where merry mowers, hale and strong,
    Swept, scythe on scythe, their swaths along
    The low green prairies of the sea.
    We shared the fishing off Boar’s Head,
    And round the rocky Isles of Shoals
    The hake-broil on the drift-wood coals;
    The chowder on the sand-beach made,
    Dipped by the hungry, steaming hot,
    With spoons of clam-shell from the pot.
    We heard the tales of witchcraft old,
    And dream and sign and marvel told
    To sleepy listeners as they lay
    Stretched idly on the salted hay,
    Adrift along the winding shores,
    When favoring breezes deigned to blow
    The square sail of the gundelow
    And idle lay the useless oars.

    Our mother, while she turned her wheel
    Or run the new-knit stocking-heel,
    Told how the Indian hordes came down
    At midnight on Concheco town,
    And how her own great-uncle bore
    His cruel scalp-mark to fourscore.
    Recalling, in her fitting phrase,
    So rich and picturesque and free
    (The common unrhymed poetry
    Of simple life and country ways,)
    The story of her early days,—
    She made us welcome to her home;
    Old hearths grew wide to give us room;
    We stole with her a frightened look
    At the gray wizard’s conjuring-book,
    The fame whereof went far and wide
    Through all the simple country side;
    We heard the hawks at twilight play,
    The boat-horn on Piscataqua,
    The loon’s weird laughter far away;
    We fished her little trout-brook, knew
    What flowers in wood and meadow grew,
    What sunny hillsides autumn-brown
    She climbed to shake the ripe nuts down,
    Saw where in sheltered cove and bay,
    The ducks’ black squadron anchored lay,
    And heard the wild-geese calling loud
    Beneath the gray November cloud.

    Then, haply, with a look more grave,
    And soberer tone, some tale she gave
    From painful Sewel’s ancient tome,
    Beloved in every Quaker home,
    Of faith fire-winged by martyrdom,
    Or Chalkley’s Journal, old and quaint,—
    Gentlest of skippers, rare sea-saint!—
    Who, when the dreary calms prevailed,
    And water-butt and bread-cask failed,
    And cruel, hungry eyes pursued
    His portly presence mad for food,
    With dark hints muttered under breath
    Of casting lots for life or death,
    Offered, if Heaven withheld supplies,
    To be himself the sacrifice.
    Then, suddenly, as if to save
    The good man from his living grave,
    A ripple on the water grew,
    A school of porpoise flashed in view.
    “Take, eat,” he said, “and be content;
    These fishes in my stead are sent
    By Him who gave the tangled ram
    To spare the child of Abraham.”

    Our uncle, innocent of books,
    Was rich in lore of fields and brooks,
    The ancient teachers never dumb
    Of Nature’s unhoused lyceum.
    In moons and tides and weather wise,
    He read the clouds as prophecies,
    And foul or fair could well divine,
    By many an occult hint and sign,
    Holding the cunning-warded keys
    To all the woodcraft mysteries;
    Himself to Nature’s heart so near
    That all her voices in his ear
    Of beast or bird had meanings clear,
    Like Apollonius of old,
    Who knew the tales the sparrows told,
    Or Hermes, who interpreted
    What the sage cranes of Nilus said;
    A simple, guileless, childlike man,
    Content to live where life began;
    Strong only on his native grounds,
    The little world of sights and sounds
    Whose girdle was the parish bounds,
    Whereof his fondly partial pride
    The common features magnified,
    As Surrey hills to mountains grew
    In White of Selborne’s loving view,—
    He told how teal and loon he shot,
    And how the eagle’s eggs he got,
    The feats on pond and river done,
    The prodigies of rod and gun;
    Till, warming with the tales he told,
    Forgotten was the outside cold,
    The bitter wind unheeded blew,
    From ripening corn the pigeons flew,
    The partridge drummed i’ the wood, the mink
    Went fishing down the river-brink.
    In fields with bean or clover gay,
    The woodchuck, like a hermit gray,
    Peered from the doorway of his cell;
    The muskrat plied the mason’s trade,
    And tier by tier his mud-walls laid;
    And from the shagbark overhead
    The grizzled squirrel dropped his shell.

    Next, the dear aunt, whose smile of cheer
    And voice in dreams I see and hear,—
    The sweetest woman ever Fate
    Perverse denied a household mate,
    Who, lonely, homeless, not the less
    Found peace in love’s unselfishness,
    And welcome wheresoe’er she went,
    A calm and gracious element,
    Whose presence seemed the sweet income
    And womanly atmosphere of home,—
    Called up her girlhood memories,
    The huskings and the apple-bees,
    The sleigh-rides and the summer sails,
    Weaving through all the poor details
    And homespun warp of circumstance
    A golden woof-thread of romance.
    For well she kept her genial mood
    And simple faith of maidenhood;
    Before her still a cloud-land lay,
    The mirage loomed across her way;
    The morning dew, that dries so soon
    With others, glistened at her noon;
    Through years of toil and soil and care,
    From glossy tress to thin gray hair,
    All unprofaned she held apart
    The virgin fancies of the heart.
    Be shame to him of woman born
    Who hath for such but thought of scorn.

    There, too, our elder sister plied
    Her evening task the stand beside;
    A full, rich nature, free to trust,
    Truthful and almost sternly just,
    Impulsive, earnest, prompt to act,
    And make her generous thought a fact,
    Keeping with many a light disguise
    The secret of self-sacrifice.
    O heart sore-tried! thou hast the best
    That Heaven itself could give thee,—rest,
    Rest from all bitter thoughts and things!
    How many a poor one’s blessing went
    With thee beneath the low green tent
    Whose curtain never outward swings!

    As one who held herself a part
    Of all she saw, and let her heart
    Against the household bosom lean,
    Upon the motley-braided mat
    Our youngest and our dearest sat,
    Lifting her large, sweet, asking eyes,
    Now bathed in the unfading green
    And holy peace of Paradise.
    Oh, looking from some heavenly hill,
    Or from the shade of saintly palms,
    Or silver reach of river calms,
    Do those large eyes behold me still?
    With me one little year ago:—
    The chill weight of the winter snow
    For months upon her grave has lain;
    And now, when summer south-winds blow
    And brier and harebell bloom again,
    I tread the pleasant paths we trod,
    I see the violet-sprinkled sod
    Whereon she leaned, too frail and weak
    The hillside flowers she loved to seek,
    Yet following me where’er I went
    With dark eyes full of love’s content.
    The birds are glad; the brier-rose fills
    The air with sweetness; all the hills
    Stretch green to June’s unclouded sky;
    But still I wait with ear and eye
    For something gone which should be nigh,
    A loss in all familiar things,
    In flower that blooms, and bird that sings.
    And yet, dear heart! remembering thee,
    Am I not richer than of old?
    Safe in thy immortality,
    What change can reach the wealth I hold?
    What chance can mar the pearl and gold
    Thy love hath left in trust with me?
    And while in life’s late afternoon,
    Where cool and long the shadows grow,
    I walk to meet the night that soon
    Shall shape and shadow overflow,
    I cannot feel that thou art far,
    Since near at need the angels are;
    And when the sunset gates unbar,
    Shall I not see thee waiting stand,
    And, white against the evening star,
    The welcome of thy beckoning hand?

    Brisk wielder of the birch and rule,
    The master of the district school
    Held at the fire his favored place,
    Its warm glow lit a laughing face
    Fresh-hued and fair, where scarce appeared
    The uncertain prophecy of beard.
    He teased the mitten-blinded cat,
    Played cross-pins on my uncle’s hat,
    Sang songs, and told us what befalls
    In classic Dartmouth’s college halls.
    Born the wild Northern hills among,
    From whence his yeoman father wrung
    By patient toil subsistence scant,
    Not competence and yet not want,
    He early gained the power to pay
    His cheerful, self-reliant way;
    Could doff at ease his scholar’s gown
    To peddle wares from town to town;
    Or through the long vacation’s reach
    In lonely lowland districts teach,
    Where all the droll experience found
    At stranger hearths in boarding round,
    The moonlit skater’s keen delight,
    The sleigh-drive through the frosty night,
    The rustic party, with its rough
    Accompaniment of blind-man’s-buff,
    And whirling-plate, and forfeits paid,
    His winter task a pastime made.
    Happy the snow-locked homes wherein
    He tuned his merry violin,
    Or played the athlete in the barn,
    Or held the good dame’s winding-yarn,
    Or mirth-provoking versions told
    Of classic legends rare and old,
    Wherein the scenes of Greece and Rome
    Had all the commonplace of home,
    And little seemed at best the odds
    ’Twixt Yankee pedlers and old gods;
    Where Pindus-born Arachthus took
    The guise of any grist-mill brook,
    And dread Olympus at his will
    Became a huckleberry hill.

    A careless boy that night he seemed;
    But at his desk he had the look
    And air of one who wisely schemed,
    And hostage from the future took
    In trainéd thought and lore of book.
    Large-brained, clear-eyed, of such as he
    Shall Freedom’s young apostles be,
    Who, following in War’s bloody trail,
    Shall every lingering wrong assail;
    All chains from limb and spirit strike,
    Uplift the black and white alike;
    Scatter before their swift advance
    The darkness and the ignorance,
    The pride, the lust, the squalid sloth,
    Which nurtured Treason’s monstrous growth,
    Made murder pastime, and the hell
    Of prison-torture possible;
    The cruel lie of caste refute,
    Old forms remould, and substitute
    For Slavery’s lash the freeman’s will,
    For blind routine, wise-handed skill;
    A school-house plant on every hill,
    Stretching in radiate nerve-lines thence
    The quick wires of intelligence;
    Till North and South together brought
    Shall own the same electric thought,
    In peace a common flag salute,
    And, side by side in labor’s free
    And unresentful rivalry,
    Harvest the fields wherein they fought.

    Another guest that winter night
    Flashed back from lustrous eyes the light.
    Unmarked by time, and yet not young,
    The honeyed music of her tongue
    And words of meekness scarcely told
    A nature passionate and bold,
    Strong, self-concentred, spurning guide,
    Its milder features dwarfed beside
    Her unbent will’s majestic pride.
    She sat among us, at the best,
    A not unfeared, half-welcome guest,
    Rebuking with her cultured phrase
    Our homeliness of words and ways.
    A certain pard-like, treacherous grace
    Swayed the lithe limbs and drooped the lash,
    Lent the white teeth their dazzling flash;
    And under low brows, black with night,
    Rayed out at times a dangerous light;
    The sharp heat-lightnings of her face
    Presaging ill to him whom Fate
    Condemned to share her love or hate.
    A woman tropical, intense
    In thought and act, in soul and sense,
    She blended in a like degree
    The vixen and the devotee,
    Revealing with each freak or feint
    The temper of Petruchio’s Kate,
    The raptures of Siena’s saint.
    Her tapering hand and rounded wrist
    Had facile power to form a fist;
    The warm, dark languish of her eyes
    Was never safe from wrath’s surprise.
    Brows saintly calm and lips devout
    Knew every change of scowl and pout;
    And the sweet voice had notes more high
    And shrill for social battle-cry.

    Since then what old cathedral town
    Has missed her pilgrim staff and gown,
    What convent-gate has held its lock
    Against the challenge of her knock!
    Through Smyrna’s plague-hushed thoroughfares,
    Up sea-set Malta’s rocky stairs,
    Gray olive slopes of hills that hem
    Thy tombs and shrines, Jerusalem,
    Or startling on her desert throne
    The crazy Queen of Lebanon
    With claims fantastic as her own,
    Her tireless feet have held their way;
    And still, unrestful, bowed, and gray,
    She watches under Eastern skies,
    With hope each day renewed and fresh,
    The Lord’s quick coming in the flesh,
    Whereof she dreams and prophesies!

    Where’er her troubled path may be,
    The Lord’s sweet pity with her go!
    The outward wayward life we see,
    The hidden springs we may not know.
    Nor is it given us to discern
    What threads the fatal sisters spun,
    Through what ancestral years has run
    The sorrow with the woman born,
    What forged her cruel chain of moods,
    What set her feet in solitudes,
    And held the love within her mute,
    What mingled madness in the blood,
    A life-long discord and annoy,
    Water of tears with oil of joy,
    And hid within the folded bud
    Perversities of flower and fruit.
    It is not ours to separate
    The tangled skein of will and fate,
    To show what metes and bounds should stand
    Upon the soul’s debatable land,
    And between choice and Providence
    Divide the circle of events;
    But He who knows our frame is just,
    Merciful and compassionate,
    And full of sweet assurances
    And hope for all the language is,
    That He remembereth we are dust!

    At last the great logs, crumbling low,
    Sent out a dull and duller glow,
    The bull’s-eye watch that hung in view,
    Ticking its weary circuit through,
    Pointed with mutely warning sign
    Its black hand to the hour of nine.
    That sign the pleasant circle broke:
    My uncle ceased his pipe to smoke,
    Knocked from its bowl the refuse gray,
    And laid it tenderly away;
    Then roused himself to safely cover
    The dull red brands with ashes over.
    And while, with care, our mother laid
    The work aside, her steps she stayed
    One moment, seeking to express
    Her grateful sense of happiness
    For food and shelter, warmth and health,
    And love’s contentment more than wealth,
    With simple wishes (not the weak,
    Vain prayers which no fulfilment seek,
    But such as warm the generous heart,
    O’er-prompt to do with Heaven its part)
    That none might lack, that bitter night,
    For bread and clothing, warmth and light.

    Within our beds awhile we heard
    The wind that round the gables roared,
    With now and then a ruder shock,
    Which made our very bedsteads rock.
    We heard the loosened clapboards tost,
    The board-nails snapping in the frost;
    And on us, through the unplastered wall,
    Felt the light sifted snow-flakes fall.
    But sleep stole on, as sleep will do
    When hearts are light and life is new;
    Faint and more faint the murmurs grew,
    Till in the summer-land of dreams
    They softened to the sound of streams,
    Low stir of leaves, and dip of oars,
    And lapsing waves on quiet shores.

    Next morn we wakened with the shout
    Of merry voices high and clear;
    And saw the teamsters drawing near
    To break the drifted highways out.
    Down the long hillside treading slow
    We saw the half-buried oxen go,
    Shaking the snow from heads uptost,
    Their straining nostrils white with frost.
    Before our door the straggling train
    Drew up, an added team to gain.
    The elders threshed their hands a-cold,
    Passed, with the cider-mug, their jokes
    From lip to lip; the younger folks
    Down the loose snow-banks, wrestling, rolled,
    Then toiled again the cavalcade
    O’er windy hill, through clogged ravine,
    And woodland paths that wound between
    Low drooping pine-boughs winter-weighed.
    From every barn a team afoot,
    At every house a new recruit,
    Where, drawn by Nature’s subtlest law,
    Haply the watchful young men saw
    Sweet doorway pictures of the curls
    And curious eyes of merry girls,
    Lifting their hands in mock defence
    Against the snow-ball’s compliments,
    And reading in each missive tost
    The charm with Eden never lost.

    We heard once more the sleigh-bells’ sound;
    And, following where the teamsters led,
    The wise old Doctor went his round,
    Just pausing at our door to say,
    In the brief autocratic way
    Of one who, prompt at Duty’s call,
    Was free to urge her claim on all,
    That some poor neighbor sick abed
    At night our mother’s aid would need.
    For, one in generous thought and deed,
    What mattered in the sufferer’s sight
    The Quaker matron’s inward light,
    The Doctor’s mail of Calvin’s creed?
    All hearts confess the saints elect
    Who, twain in faith, in love agree,
    And melt not in an acid sect
    The Christian pearl of charity!

    So days went on: a week had passed
    Since the great world was heard from last.
    The Almanac we studied o’er,
    Read and reread our little store
    Of books and pamphlets, scarce a score;
    One harmless novel, mostly hid
    From younger eyes, a book forbid,
    And poetry, (or good or bad,
    A single book was all we had,)
    Where Ellwood’s meek, drab-skirted Muse,
    A stranger to the heathen Nine,
    Sang, with a somewhat nasal whine,
    The wars of David and the Jews.
    At last the floundering carrier bore
    The village paper to our door.
    Lo! broadening outward as we read,
    To warmer zones the horizon spread
    In panoramic length unrolled
    We saw the marvels that it told.
    Before us passed the painted Creeks,
    And daft McGregor on his raids
    In Costa Rica’s everglades.
    And up Taygetos winding slow
    Rode Ypsilanti’s Mainote Greeks,
    A Turk’s head at each saddle-bow!
    Welcome to us its week-old news,
    Its corner for the rustic Muse,
    Its monthly gauge of snow and rain,
    Its record, mingling in a breath
    The wedding bell and dirge of death:
    Jest, anecdote, and love-lorn tale,
    The latest culprit sent to jail;
    Its hue and cry of stolen and lost,
    Its vendue sales and goods at cost,
    And traffic calling loud for gain.
    We felt the stir of hall and street,
    The pulse of life that round us beat;
    The chill embargo of the snow
    Was melted in the genial glow;
    Wide swung again our ice-locked door,
    And all the world was ours once more!

    Clasp, Angel of the backword look
    And folded wings of ashen gray
    And voice of echoes far away,
    The brazen covers of thy book;
    The weird palimpsest old and vast,
    Wherein thou hid’st the spectral past;
    Where, closely mingling, pale and glow
    The characters of joy and woe;
    The monographs of outlived years,
    Or smile-illumed or dim with tears,
    Green hills of life that slope to death,
    And haunts of home, whose vistaed trees
    Shade off to mournful cypresses
    With the white amaranths underneath.
    Even while I look, I can but heed
    The restless sands’ incessant fall,
    Importunate hours that hours succeed,
    Each clamorous with its own sharp need,
    And duty keeping pace with all.
    Shut down and clasp with heavy lids;
    I hear again the voice that bids
    The dreamer leave his dream midway
    For larger hopes and graver fears:
    Life greatens in these later years,
    The century’s aloe flowers to-day!

    Yet, haply, in some lull of life,
    Some Truce of God which breaks its strife,
    The worldling’s eyes shall gather dew,
    Dreaming in throngful city ways
    Of winter joys his boyhood knew;
    And dear and early friends—the few
    Who yet remain—shall pause to view
    These Flemish pictures of old days;
    Sit with me by the homestead hearth,
    And stretch the hands of memory forth
    To warm them at the wood-fire’s blaze!
    And thanks untraced to lips unknown
    Shall greet me like the odors blown
    From unseen meadows newly mown,
    Or lilies floating in some pond,
    Wood-fringed, the wayside gaze beyond;
    The traveller owns the grateful sense
    Of sweetness near, he knows not whence,
    And, pausing, takes with forehead bare
    The benediction of the air.

  2. The First Snowfall

    The First Snowfall
    The First Snowfall
    by Iris White
    by James Russell Lowell

    The snow had begun in the gloaming,
    And busily all the night
    Had been heaping field and highway
    With a silence deep and white.

    Every pine and fir and hemlock
    Wore ermine too dear for an earl,
    And the poorest twig on the elm-tree
    Was ridged inch deep with pearl.

    From sheds new-roofed with Carrara
    Came Chanticleer's muffled crow,
    The stiff rails softened to swan's-down,
    And still fluttered down the snow.

    I stood and watched by the window
    The noiseless work of the sky,
    And the sudden flurries of snow-birds,
    Like brown leaves whirling by.

    I thought of a mound in sweet Auburn
    Where a little headstone stood;
    How the flakes were folding it gently,
    As did robins the babes in the wood.

    Up spoke our own little Mabel,
    Saying, "Father, who makes it snow?"
    And I told of the good All-father
    Who cares for us here below.

    Again I looked at the snow-fall,
    And thought of the leaden sky
    That arched o'er our first great sorrow,
    When that mound was heaped so high.

    I remembered the gradual patience
    That fell from that cloud like snow,
    Flake by flake, healing and hiding
    The scar that renewed our woe.

    And again to the child I whispered,
    "The snow that husheth all,
    Darling, the merciful Father
    Alone can make it fall"

    Then, with eyes that saw not, I kissed her;
    And she, kissing back, could not know
    That my kiss was given to her sister,
    Folded close under deepening snow.

  3. A Clinging Snow

    by Anonymous

    The world of trees is twinned with a world of snow,
    Like black Othello and his stainless mate;
    In parallels as strange as hope and fate
    The sweet white follows where the branches go.
    Its feathered heavy arches bending low,
    The forest holds itself in crystal state;

    All softly scintillant the hushed aisles wait
    As for the march of angels to and fro.
    The lowliest hush o'ertops the highest art,
    And loveliness is flung on log and stone
    And wreathed in all recesses of the wood.
    Ah, here's a vision of the pure in heart,
    So into truth and living beauty grown
    That all their least concerns are fair and good.

  4. The Snow-Flake

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    "Now, if I fall, will it be my lot
    To be cast in some lone, and lowly spot,
    To melt, and to sink, unseen, or forgot?
    And there will my course be ended?"
    'T was this a feathery Snow-Flake said,
    As down through measureless space it strayed,
    Or, as half by dalliance, half afraid,
    It seemed in mid air suspended.

    "Oh! no," said the Earth, "thou shalt not lie
    Neglected and lone on my lap to die,
    Thou pure and delicate child of the sky!
    For, thou wilt be safe in my keeping.
    But then, I must give thee a lovelier form—
    Thou wilt not be part of the wintry storm,
    But revive,when the sunbeams are yellow and warm,
    And the flowers from my bosom are peeping!

    "And then thou shalt have thy choice, to be
    Restored in the lily that decks the lea,
    In the jessamine-bloom, the anemone;
    Or aught of thy spotless whiteness:—
    To melt, and be cast in a glittering bead,
    With the pearls, that the night scatters over the mead,
    In the cup where the bee and the fire-fly feed,
    Regaining thy dazzling brightness.

    "I'll let thee awake from thy transient sleep,
    When Viola's mild blue eye shall weep,
    In a tremulous tear; or, a diamond, leap
    In a drop from the unlocked fountain:
    Or, leaving the valley, the meadow and heath,
    The streamlet, the flowers and all beneath,
    Go up and be wove in the silvery wreath
    Encircling the brow of the mountain.

    "Or wouldst thou return to a home in the skies!
    To shine in the Iris I'll let thee arise,
    And appear in the many and glorious dyes
    A pencil of sunbeams is blending!
    But true, fair thing, as my name is Earth,
    I'll give thee a new and vernal birth,
    When thou shalt recover thy primal worth,
    And never regret descending!"

    "Then I will drop," said the trusting Flake;
    "But, bear it in mind, that the choice I make
    Is not in the flowers, nor the dew to wake;
    Nor the mist, that shall pass with the morning.
    For, things of thyself, they will die with thee;
    But those that are lent from on high, like me,
    They rise and will live, from thy dust set free,
    To the regions above returning.

    "And, if true to thy word, and just thou art,
    Like the spirit that dwells in the holiest heart,
    Unsullied by thee, thou wilt let me depart
    And return to my native heaven.
    For, I would be placed in the beautiful Bow,
    From time to time, in thy sight to glow,
    So thou may'st remember the Flake of Snow,
    By the promise that God hath given!"

  5. It Snows

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    It snows! it snows! from out the sky
    The feathered flakes, how fast they fly,
    Like little birds, that don't know why
    They're on the chase, from place to place,
    While neither can the other trace.
    It snows! it snows! a merry play
    Is o'er us, on this heavy day!

    As dancers in an airy hall,
    That hasn't room to hold them all,
    While some keep up, and others fall,
    The atoms shift, then, thick and swift,
    They drive along to form the drift,
    That weaving up, so dazzling white,
    Is rising like a wall of light.

    But, now the wind comes whistling loud,
    To snatch and waft it, as a cloud,
    Or giant phantom in a shroud;
    It spreads! it curls! it mounts and whirls,
    At length, a mighty wing unfurls;
    And then, away! but, where, none knows,
    Or ever will.—It snows! it snows!

    To-morrow will the storm be done;
    Then, out will come the golden sun:
    And we shall see, upon the run
    Before his beams, in sparkling streams,
    What now a curtain o'er him seems.
    And thus, with life, it ever goes;
    'T is shade and shine!—It snows! it snows!

  6. A Snow-Flake

    by Thomas Bailey Aldrich

    Once he sang of summer,
    Nothing but the summer;
    Now he sings of winter,
    Of winter bleak and drear:
    Just because there's fallen
    A snow-flake on his forehead.
    He must go and fancy
    'T is winter all the year!

  7. The Snow Man

    by Marian Douglas

    Look! how the clouds are flying south!
    The winds pipe loud and shrill!
    And high above the white drifts stands
    The snow man on the hill.

    Blow, wild wind from the icy north!
    Here's one who will not fear
    To feel thy coldest touch, or shrink
    Thy loudest blast to hear.

    Proud triumph of the schoolboy's skill!
    Far rather would I be
    A winter giant, ruling o'er
    A frosty realm, like thee,

    And stand amid the drifted snow,
    Like thee, a thing apart,
    Than be a man who walks with men,
    But has a frozen heart!

  8. Snow Falling

    John James Piatt

    The wonderful snow is falling
    Over river and woodland and wold;
    The trees bear spectral blossom
    In the moonshine blurr'd and cold.

    There's a beautiful garden in Heaven;
    And these are the banished flowers,
    Falling and driven and drifted
    Into this dark world of ours.

  9. The Snowstorm

    James Thomson

    Through the hushed air the whitening shower descends,
    At first thin wavering; till at last the flakes
    Fall broad and wide and fast, dimming the day,
    With a continual flow. The cherished fields
    Put on their winter robe of purest white.
    'T is brightness all: save where the new snow melts
    Along the mazy current.

    Low the woods
    Bow their hoar head; and ere the languid sun
    Faint from the west emits its evening ray,
    Earth's universal face, deep-hid and chill,
    Is one wild dazzling waste, that buries wide
    The works of man.

    Drooping, the laborer ox
    Stands covered o'er with snow, and then demands
    The fruit of all his toil. The fowls of heaven,
    Tamed by the cruel season, crowd around
    The winnowing store, and claim the little boon
    Which Providence assigns them.

    One alone,
    The Redbreast, sacred to the household gods,
    Wisely regardful of the embroiling sky,
    In joyless fields and thorny thickets leaves
    His shivering mates, and pays to trusted man
    His annual visit.

    Half-afraid, he first
    Against the window beats; then, brisk, alights
    On the warm hearth; then, hopping o'er the floor,
    Eyes all the smiling family askance,
    And pecks, and starts, and wonders where he is;
    Till, more familiar grown, the table crumbs
    Attract his slender feet.

    The foodless wilds
    Pour forth their brown inhabitants. The hare,
    Though timorous of heart, and hard beset
    By death in various forms, dark snares and dogs,
    And more unpitying men, the garden seeks,
    Urged on by fearless want. The bleating kind.
    Eye the bleak heaven, and next the glistening earth,
    With looks of dumb despair; then, sad dispersed,
    Dig for the withered herb through heaps of snow

    Now, shepherds, to your helpless charge be kind,
    Baffle the raging year, and fill their pens
    With food at will; lodge them below the storm,
    And watch them strict; for from the bellowing east,
    In this dire season, oft the whirlwind's wing
    Sweeps up the burden of whole wintry plains
    In one wide waft, and o'er the hapless flocks,
    Hid in the hollow of two neighboring hills,
    The billowy tempest 'whelms; till, upward urged,
    The valley to a shining mountain swells,
    Tipped with a wreath high-curling in the sky

  10. The Snow Shower

    William Cullen Bryant

    Stand here by my side and turn, I pray,
    On the lake below thy gentle eyes;
    The clouds hang over it, heavy and gray,
    And dark and silent the water lies;
    And out of that frozen mist the snow
    In wavering flakes begins to flow;
    Flake after flake
    They sink in the dark and silent lake.

    See how in a living swarm they come
    From the chambers beyond that misty veil;
    Some hover in air awhile, and some
    Rush prone from the sky like summer hail.
    All, dropping swiftly, or settling slow,
    Meet, and are still in the depths below;
    Flake after flake
    Dissolved in the dark and silent lake.

    Here delicate snow stars, out of the cloud,
    Come floating downward in airy play,
    Like spangles dropped from the glistening crowd
    That whiten by night the Milky Way;
    There broader and burlier masses fall;
    The sullen water buries them all,—
    Flake after flake,—
    All drowned in the dark and silent lake.

    And some, as on tender wings they glide
    From their chilly birth cloud, dim and gray.
    Are joined in their fall, and, side by side,
    Come clinging along their unsteady way;
    As friend with friend, or husband with wife,
    Makes hand in hand the passage of life;
    Each mated flake
    Soon sinks in the dark and silent lake.

    Lo! while we are gazing, in swifter haste
    Stream down the snows, till the air is white,
    As, myriads by myriads madly chased,
    They fling themselves from their shadowy height.
    The fair, frail creatures of middle sky,
    What speed they make, with their grave so nigh;
    Flake after flake
    To lie in the dark and silent lake..

    I see in thy gentle eyes a tear;
    They turn to me in sorrowful thought;
    Thou thinkest of friends, the good and dear,
    Who were for a time, and now are not;
    Like these fair children of cloud and frost,
    That glisten a moment an then are lost,
    Flake after flake,—
    All lost in the dark and silent lake.

    Yet look again, for the clouds divide;
    A gleam of blue on the water lies;
    And far away, on the mountain side,
    A sunbeam falls from the opening skies.
    But the hurrying host that flew between
    The cloud and the water no more is seen;
    Flake after flake
    At rest in the dark and silent lake.

  11. It Snows

    Sarah Josepha Hale

    "It snows!" cries the Schoolboy, "Hurrah!" and his shout
    Is ringing through parlor and hall,
    While swift as the wing of a swallow, he's out,
    And his playmates have answered his call;
    It makes the heart leap but to witness their joy;
    Proud wealth has no pleasures, I trow,
    Like the rapture that throbs in the pulse of the boy
    As he gathers his treasures of snow;
    Then lay not the trappings of gold on thine heirs,
    While health and the riches of nature are theirs.

    "It snows!" sighs the Imbecile, "Ah!" and his breath
    Comes heavy, as clogged with a weight;
    While, from the pale aspect of nature in death,
    He turns to the blaze of his grate;
    And nearer and nearer, his soft-cushioned chair
    Is wheeled toward the life-giving flame;
    He dreads a chill puff of the snow-burdened air,
    Lest it wither his delicate frame;
    Oh! small is the pleasure existence can give,
    When the fear we shall die only proves that we live!

    "It snows!" cries the Traveler, "Ho!" and the word
    Has quickened his steed's lagging pace;
    The wind rushes by, but its howl is unheard,
    Unfelt the sharp drift in his face;
    For bright through the tempest his own home appeared,
    Ay, though leagues intervened, he can see:
    There's the clear, glowing hearth, and the table prepared,
    And his wife with her babes at her knee;
    Blest thought! how it lightens the grief-laden hour,
    That those we love dearest are safe from its power!

    "It snows!" cries the Belle, "Dear, how lucky!" and turns
    From her mirror to watch the flakes fall,
    Like the first rose of summer, her dimpled cheek burns!
    While musing on sleigh ride and ball:
    There are visions of conquests, of splendor, and mirth,
    Floating over each drear winter's day;
    But the tintings of Hope, on this storm-beaten earth,
    Will melt like the snowflakes away.
    Turn, then thee to Heaven, fair maiden, for bliss;
    That world has a pure fount ne'er opened in this.

    "It snows!" cries the Widow, "O God!" and her sighs
    Have stifled the voice of her prayer;
    Its burden ye'll read in her tear-swollen eyes,
    On her cheek sunk with fasting and care.
    'T is night, and her fatherless ask her for bread,
    But "He gives the young ravens their food,"
    And she trusts till her dark hearth adds horror to dread,
    And she lays on her last chip of wood.
    Poor sufferer! that sorrow thy God only knows;
    'T is a most bitter lot to be poor when it snows.

  12. The Snow

    by Emily Dickinson

    It sifts from leaden sieves,
    It powders all the wood,
    It fills with alabaster wool
    The wrinkles of the road.

    It makes an even face
    Of mountain and of plain, —
    Unbroken forehead from the east
    Unto the east again.

    It reaches to the fence,
    It wraps it, rail by rail,
    Till it is lost in fleeces;
    It flings a crystal veil

    On stump and stack and stem, —
    The summer's empty room,
    Acres of seams where harvests were,
    Recordless, but for them.

    It ruffles wrists of posts,
    As ankles of a queen, —
    Then stills its artisans like ghosts,
    Denying they have been.

  13. Before the Snow

    by Bliss Carman

    Now soon, ah, very soon, I know
    The trumpets of the north will blow,
    And the great winds will come to bring
    The pale, wild riders of the snow.

    Darkening the sun with level flight,
    At arrowy speed, they will alight,
    Unnumbered as the desert sands,
    To bivouac on the edge of night.

    Then I, within their somber ring,
    Shall hear a voice that seems to sing,
    Deep, deep within my tranquil heart,
    The valiant prophecy of spring.

  14. Old Sis Snow

    by Madison Cawein

    Old Sis Snow, with hair ablow,
    Down the road now see her go!
    Her old gown pulled back and pinned
    Round her legs by Wild-boy Wind —
    Ough n't he to just be skinned? —
    Hear her shriek, now high, now low,
    Tangled in her hair! my oh! —
    Is n't she a crazy show?
    Old Sis Snow!

    Old Sis Snow now to and fro
    Ramps and wrestles and hollos "Whoa!"
    Sticks her long white fingers through
    Every crack and cranny too,
    Reaching after me and you:
    Cold! and look how fast they grow!
    Ghostly in the lamplight's glow,
    Threatening you from head to toe! —
    Old Sis Snow!

    Old Sis Snow! now you go slow!
    You'll get tired enough, I know:
    Wild-boy Wind will drag you down;
    Round your ears will tear your gown;
    Strew its rags through field and town. —
    Now he's at it, blow on blow,
    Hitting hard as any hoe. —
    Hear them how they knock and throw!
    Wild-boy Wind and Old Sis Snow!

  15. Snow

    by Adelaide Crapsey

    Look up…
    From bleakening hills
    Blows down the light, first breath
    Of wintry wind…look up, and scent
    The snow!

  16. Snow

    by Elizabeth Akers Allen

    Lo, what wonders the day hath brought,
    Born of the soft and slumbrous snow!
    Gradual, silent, slowly wrought;
    Even as an artist, thought by thought,
    Writes expression on lip and brow.

    Hanging garlands the eaves o'erbrim,
    Deep drifts smother the paths below;
    The elms are shrouded, trunk and limb,
    And all the air is dizzy and dim
    With a whirl of dancing, dazzling snow.

    Dimly out of the baffled sight
    Houses and church-spires stretch away;
    The trees, all spectral and still and white,
    Stand up like ghosts in the failing light,
    And fade and faint with the blinded day.

    Down from the roofs in gusts are hurled
    The eddying drifts to the waste below;
    And still is the banner of storm unfurled,
    Till all the drowned and desolate world
    Lies dumb and white in a trance of snow.

    Slowly the shadows gather and fall,
    Still the whispering snow-flakes beat;
    Night and darkness are over all:
    Rest, pale city, beneath their pall!
    Sleep, white world, in thy winding-sheet!

    Clouds may thicken, and storm-winds breathe:
    On my wall is a glimpse of Rome, —
    Land of my longing! - and underneath
    Swings and trembles my olive-wreath;
    Peace and I are at home, at home!

  17. Snow Storm

    by John Clare

    What a night! The wind howls, hisses, and but stops
    To howl more loud, while the snow volley keeps
    Incessant batter at the window pane,
    Making our comfort feel as sweet again;
    And in the morning, when the tempest drops,
    At every cottage door mountainous heaps
    Of snow lie drifted, that all entrance stops
    Untill the beesom and the shovel gain
    The path, and leave a wall on either side.
    The shepherd rambling valleys white and wide
    With new sensations his old memory fills,
    When hedges left at night, no more descried,
    Are turned to one white sweep of curving hills,
    And trees turned bushes half their bodies hide.

    The boy that goes to fodder with surprise
    Walks oer the gate he opened yesternight.
    The hedges all have vanished from his eyes;
    Een some tree tops the sheep could reach to bite.
    The novel scene emboldens new delight,
    And, though with cautious steps his sports begin,
    He bolder shuffles the huge hills of snow,
    Till down he drops and plunges to the chin,
    And struggles much and oft escape to win—
    Then turns and laughs but dare not further go;
    For deep the grass and bushes lie below,
    Where little birds that soon at eve went in
    With heads tucked in their wings now pine for day
    And little feel boys oer their heads can stray.

  18. To a Snow-Flake

    by Francis Thompson

    What heart could have thought you? —
    Past our devisal
    (O filigree petal!)
    Fashioned so purely,
    Fragilely, surely,
    From what Paradisal
    Imagineless metal,
    Too costly for cost?

    Who hammered you, wrought you,
    From argentine vapor? —
    "God was my shaper.
    Passing surmisal,
    He hammered, He wrought me,
    From curled silver vapor,
    To lust of His mind —
    Thou could'st not have thought me!
    So purely, so palely,
    Tinily, surely,
    Mightily, frailly,
    Insculped and embossed,
    With His hammer of wind,
    And His graver of frost."

  19. Snow-flakes

    by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    Out of the bosom of the Air,
    Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,
    Over the woodlands brown and bare,
    Over the harvest-fields forsaken,
    Silent, and soft, and slow
    Descends the snow.

    Even as our cloudy fancies take
    Suddenly shape in some divine expression,
    Even as the troubled heart doth make
    In the white countenance confession,
    The troubled sky reveals
    The grief it feels.

    This is the poem of the air,
    Slowly in silent syllables recorded;
    This is the secret of despair,
    Long in its cloudy bosom hoarded,
    Now whispered and revealed
    To wood and field.

  20. The First Snow-Fall

    by John B. Tabb

    The Fir-tree felt it with a thrill
    And murmur of content;
    The last dead Leaf its cable slipt
    And from its moorings went;

    The selfsame silent messenger
    To one the shibboleth
    Of Life imparting, and to one
    The countersign of Death.

  21. Dust of Snow

    by Robert Frost

    The way a crow
    Shook down on me
    The dust of snow
    From a hemlock tree

    Has given my heart
    A change of mood
    And saved some part
    Of a day I had rued.

  22. Lucy Gray

    by William Wordsworth

    Oft I had heard of Lucy Gray:
    And, when I crossed the wild,
    I chanced to see, at break of day,
    The solitary child.

    No mate, no comrade Lucy knew;
    She dwelt on a wide moor,
    The sweetest thing that ever grew
    Beside a human door!

    You yet may spy the fawn at play,
    The hare upon the green;
    But the sweet face of Lucy Gray
    Will never more be seen.

    "To-night will be a stormy night,—
    You to the town must go;
    And take a lantern, Child, to light
    Your mother through the snow."

    "That, Father, will I gladly do:
    'Tis scarcely afternoon,—
    The minster-clock has just struck two,
    And yonder is the moon!"

    At this the Father raised his hook,
    And snapped a fagot-brand.
    He plied his work;—and Lucy took
    The lantern in her hand.

    Not blither is the mountain roe:
    With many a wanton stroke
    Her feet disperse the powdery snow,
    That rises up like smoke.

    The storm came on before its time:
    She wandered up and down:
    And many a hill did Lucy climb:
    But never reached the town.

    The wretched parents all that night
    Went shouting far and wide;
    But there was neither sound nor sight
    To serve them for a guide.

    At daybreak on the hill they stood
    That overlooked the moor;
    And thence they saw the bridge of wood,
    A furlong from their door.

    They wept,—and, turning homeward, cried,
    "In heaven we all shall meet;"
    When in the snow the mother spied
    The print of Lucy's feet.

    Then downwards from the steep hill's edge
    They tracked the footmarks small:
    And through the broken hawthorn-hedge,
    And by the low stone-wall;

    And then an open field they crossed—
    The marks were still the same—
    They tracked them on, nor ever lost;
    And to the bridge they came.

    They followed from the snowy bank
    Those footmarks, one by one,
    Into the middle of the plank;
    And further there were none!

    —Yet some maintain that to this day
    She is a living child;
    That you may see sweet Lucy Gray
    Upon the lonesome wild.

    O'er rough and smooth she trips along,
    And never looks behind;
    And sings a solitary song
    That whistles in the wind.

  23. Snow

    by Ralph Edward McMillin

    I know a bleak unlovely plain,
    A dismal stretch of weed and sand,
    Where Desolation's horrors reign,
    Severe and grim on every hand.

    The shrill winds whistled through the night;
    The great drifts eddied here and there
    And buried deep and out of sight
    My well-trimmed walks and gardens fair.

    And now I look across the snows—
    A sea of sparkling diadems,
    A garden white, wherein there glows
    A myriad of precious gems.

    The dreary plain must stretch away
    Beyond the borders of my plot,
    And yet it shimmers back to-day
    As dazzling white as Camelot.

    There, where the drifts in billows swell,
    And border line with border blends,
    I know and yet I cannot tell
    Where waste begins and garden ends.

    And so I wot, were we to see
    Some bleak unlovely lives we know
    Through eyes of perfect charity
    Our careful border lines would go—
    The Thee and Me and Me and Thee
    Quite buried as in dazzling snow.

  24. The Snow-Flakes

    by Richard Coe

    The snow-flakes, the snow-flakes,
    The children of the sky—
    How silently they come to earth
    From their sweet home on high.

    The snow-flakes, the snow flakes,
    An angel band are they,
    Array'd in robes of spotless white,
    To cheer the winter day.

    The snow-flakes, the snow-flakes
    Their coming is a joy,
    A promise sweet of blessedness
    To many a happy boy.

    The snow-flakes, the snow-flakes,
    They cover all the earth,
    And fill the maiden's heart with thoughts
    Of happiness and mirth.

    The snow-flakes, the snow-flakes,
    The sturdy farmer's eye
    Is lit up with a brighter joy
    To see them in the sky!

    The snow-flakes, the snow-flakes,
    An angel band are they,
    Array'd in robes of spotless white,
    To cheer the winter day.

  25. Out in the Snow

    by Louise Chandler Moulton

    The snow and the silence came down together,
    Through the night so white and so still;
    And young folks housed from the bitter weather,
    Housed from the storm and the chill—

    Heard in their dreams the sleigh-bells jingle,
    Coasted the hill-sides under the moon,
    Felt their cheeks with the keen air tingle,
    Skimmed the ice with their steel-clad shoon.

    They saw the snow when they rose in the morning,
    Glittering ghosts of the vanished night,
    Though the sun shone clear in the winter dawning,
    And the day with a frosty pomp was bright.

    Out in the clear, cold, winter weather—
    Out in the winter air, like wine—
    Kate with her dancing scarlet feather,
    Bess with her peacock plumage fine,

    Joe and Jack with their pealing laughter,
    Frank and Tom with their gay hallo,
    And half a score of roisterers after,
    Out in the witching, wonderful snow,

    Shivering graybeards shuffle and stumble,
    Righting themselves with a frozen frown,
    Grumbling at every snowy tumble;
    But young folks know why the snow came down.

  26. London Snow

    by Robert Seymour Bridges

    When men were all asleep the snow came flying,
    In large white flakes falling on the city brown,
    Stealthily and perpetually settling and loosely lying,
    Hushing the latest traffic of the drowsy town;
    Deadening, muffling, stifling its murmurs failing;
    Lazily and incessantly floating down and down:

    Silently sifting and veiling road, roof and railing;
    Hiding difference, making unevenness even,
    Into angles and crevices softly drifting and sailing.
    All night it fell, and when full inches seven
    It lay in the depth of its uncompacted lightness,
    The clouds blew off from a high and frosty heaven;
    And all woke earlier for the unaccustomed brightness
    Of the winter dawning, the strange unheavenly glare:
    The eye marvelled-marvelled at the dazzling whiteness;
    The ear hearkened to the stillness of the solemn air;
    No sound of wheel rumbling nor of foot falling,
    And the busy morning cries came thin and spare.
    Then boys I heard, as they went to school, calling,
    They gathered up the crystal manna to freeze
    Their tongues with tasting, their hands with snowballing;
    Or rioted in a drift, plunging up to the knees;
    Or peering up from under the white-mossed wonder,
    'O look at the trees!' they cried, 'O look at the trees!'
    With lessened load a few carts creak and blunder,
    Following along the white deserted way,
    A country company long dispersed asunder:
    When now already the sun, in pale display
    Standing by Paul's high dome, spread forth below
    His sparkling beams, and awoke the stir of the day.
    For now doors open, and war is waged with the snow;
    And trains of sombre men, past tale of number,
    Tread long brown paths, as toward their toil they go:
    But even for them awhile no cares encumber
    Their minds diverted; the daily word is unspoken,
    The daily thoughts of labour and sorrow slumber
    At the sight of the beauty that greets them, for the charm they have broken.

  27. A Patch of Old Snow

    by Robert Frost

    There’s a patch of old snow in a corner
    That I should have guessed
    Was a blow-away paper the rain
    Had brought to rest.

    It is speckled with grime as if
    Small print overspread it,
    The news of a day I’ve forgotten—
    If I ever read it.

  28. The Snowstorm

    by James W. Whilt

    The snow has started falling,
    'Tis falling o'er mountain and plain,
    The trees bend under their burden,
    Shake free, and are draped again.

    While I sit here safe in my cabin
    Where all is cozy and warm,
    I can peer into the future,
    And view the woods after the storm.

    I can see the deer seeking the low-lands,
    In search of their daily food,
    I can see the hunter's eyes glisten,
    For he knows that the tracking is good.

    The lion dogs leap in their kennels,
    There is barking and wagging of tails,
    The hunter examines his snow-shoes,
    And dreams of "kills" and of trails.

    The bear trails lead far up the mountain
    Where the cliffs are rugged and steep,
    And there is some cave in the ledges,
    They're beginning their winter's sleep.

    They will sleep till the wild geese awaken them,
    As they take their Northern flight,
    Then again they will seek the hill-sides
    Where the sun shines clear and bright.

    Now the wild geese honk as they leave us,
    Followed close by wind-driven snow;
    They are telling all of us trappers,
    But, of course, all us trappers know

    That whenever the wild geese go homing,
    It is time that our traps are set;—
    Snow, I have been waiting for you!
    You are a welcome visitor—you bet.

  29. Snow-Flakes

    by Kate Slaughter McKinney

    See the early snow-flakes!
    Softly they descend,
    Like an orchard blossom
    Scattered by the wind.

    Here and there they’re flying
    Over all the trees,
    High above them swarming
    Like white-winged bees.

    Faster still they’re whirling,
    Dancing into sight,
    Like a troop of fairies
    When the moon is light.

    Tripping down the highway
    In a reckless gait,
    Falling like a feather
    Without sound or weight.

    On the distant churchyard
    Over graves unkept,
    Where the leaves have drifted
    And the clouds have wept.

    Little band of angels
    Doing only good,
    Making white the meadow
    And the lonely wood.

    Greeting with light kisses
    All they chance to meet,
    Leaving shining footprints
    All about the street.

    Little winter children
    Full of life and fun—
    Oh! I love the snow-flakes,
    Love them every one.

  30. Shovelling Snow

    by Harry Edward Mills

    Sparkling eyes, cheeks aglow,
    See him shovelling through the snow.
    Few will tread his opened way,
    None his labors will repay;

    Hear him humming soft and low,
    As he shovels in the snow.

    At a humble window see
    Picture fair as fair can be;
    Maidenhood in rustic bloom
    Standing by an idle broom.

    How the blushes come and go
    As she sees the flying snow.

    Simple hearts so young and warm,
    Love has taken you by storm.
    May the winters as they roll,
    Closer bind you soul to soul;

    May your heaven here below
    Be as spotless as the snow.

  31. Falling Snow

    by Anonymous

    See the pretty snowflakes
    Falling from the sky;
    On the wall and housetops
    Soft and thick they lie.

    On the window ledges,
    On the branches bare;
    Now how fast they gather,
    Filling all the air.

    Look into the garden,
    Where the grass was green;
    Covered by the snowflakes,
    Not a blade is seen.

    Now the bare black bushes
    All look soft and white,
    Every twig is laden,—
    What a pretty sight!

  32. Tiny Little Snowflakes

    by Lucy Larcom

    Tiny little snowflakes,
    In the air so high,
    Are you little angels,
    Floating in the sky?
    Robed so white and spotless,
    Flying like a dove,
    Are you little creatures,
    From the world above?

    Whirling on the sidewalk,
    Dancing in the street,
    Kissing all the faces
    Of the children sweet,
    Loading all the housetops,
    Powdering all the trees,—
    Cunning little snowflakes,
    Little busy bees!

  33. Gently Falling

    by Emma Louise Clapp

    Softly from the sky is falling
    Snowflakes white as lilies fair;
    Gently to each other calling
    As they float down through the air.

    Softly, softly, oh so softly!
    Do they come from dizzy heights;
    Gently, gently, oh, so gently!
    Do they lay a blanket white.

    Over all the many housetops,
    Over shrubs and tall, tall trees,
    Over hills and field and meadows,
    Hiding stones and restless leaves.

  34. The Snowflake

    by Margaret E. Sangster

    It was a little snowflake
    With tiny winglets furled;
    Its warm cloud-mother held it fast
    Above the sleeping world.
    All night the wild winds blustered
    And blew o'er land and sea;
    But the little suowflake cuddled close,
    As safe as safe could be.

    Then came the cold gray morning,
    And the great cloud-mother said:
    "Now every little snowflake
    Must proudly lift its head,
    And through the air go sailing
    Till it finds a place to alight,
    For I must weave a coverlet
    To clothe the world in white."

    The little snowflake fluttered,
    And gave a wee, wee sigh;
    But fifty million other flakes
    Came softly floating by;
    And the wise cloud-mothers sent them
    To keep the world's bread warm
    Through many a winter sunset,
    And many a night of storm.