The First Snowfall
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 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, 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 of our deep-plunged 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.
This poem is in the public domain.