Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1861–1889
Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889
By Mary Mapes Dodge (1831–1905)
THE SNOWFLAKE that softly, all night, is whitening tree-top and pathway;
The avalanche suddenly rushing with darkness and death to the hamlet.
The ray stealing in through the lattice to waken the day-loving baby;
The pitiless horror of light in the sun-smitten reach of the desert.
The seed with its pregnant surprise of welcome young leaflet and blossom;        5
The despair of the wilderness tangle, and treacherous thicket of forest.
The happy west wind as it startles some noon-laden flower from its dreaming;
The hurricane crashing its way through the homes and the life of the valley.
The play of the jetlets of flame when the children laugh out on the hearthstone;
The town or the prairie consumed in a terrible, hissing combustion.        10
The glide of a wave on the sands with its myriad sparkle in breaking;
The roar and the fury of ocean, a limitless maelstrom of ruin.
The leaping of heart unto heart with bliss that can never be spoken;
The passion that maddens, and shows how God may be thrust from His creatures.
For this do I tremble and start when the rose on the vine taps my shoulder,        15
For this when the storm beats me down my soul groweth bolder and bolder.
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