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A Child's Own Book of Verse, Book Three by  Ada M. Skinner and Frances Gillespy Wickes

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THE FIRST SNOW FALL

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 flurry of snow birds,

Like brown leaves whirling by.


[46]

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 the snow?"

And I told of the good All-father

Who cares for us here below.


Again I looked at the snowfall,

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.

—JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL.


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