Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. III. Sorrow and Consolation
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
CONTENTS · BOOK CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume III. Sorrow and Consolation.  1904.
 
V. Death and Bereavement
The First Snow-Fall
James Russell Lowell (1819–1891)
 
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        5
  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,        10
The stiff rails were 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,        15
  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.        20
 
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,        25
  And thought of the leaden sky
That arched o’er our first great sorrow,
  When that mound was heaped so high.
 
I remember the gradual patience
  That fell from that cloud like snow,        30
Flake by flake, healing and hiding
  The scar of our deep-plunged woe.
 
And again to the child I whispered,
  “The snow that husheth all,
Darling, the merciful Father        35
  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.        40
 
 
CONTENTS · BOOK CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
 
Loading
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2014 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors