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Snow-Bound A Winter Idyll   By: (1807-1892)

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A Winter Idyl


With Illustrations

[Illustration: Portrait]

Boston JAMES R. OSGOOD AND COMPANY, Late Ticknor & Fields, and Fields, Osgood, & Co. 1872

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the years 1865 and 1867, by JOHN G. WHITTIER, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.

[Illustration: Publisher's Device]

In the present edition of "Snow Bound," the Illustrations are drawn by Mr. HARRY FENN from sketches made by him during a visit to the scene of the poem. The engraving has been done by Mr. A. V. S. ANTHONY, under whose supervision the book has been prepared, and Mr. W. J. LINTON.

The Publishers are confident that the drawing, engraving, and printing will commend themselves to the approval of the critic and the connoisseur; while to those unfamiliar with the locale of the poem, the following note from the author will be the best guaranty of the artists' fidelity.

It gives me pleasure to commend the illustrations which accompany this edition of "Snow Bound," for the faithfulness with which they present the spirit and the details of the passages and places that the artist has designed them to accompany.

J. G. W.

To The Memory

Of The Household It Describes,

This Poem Is Dedicated

By The Author.

"As the Spirits of Darkness be stronger in the dark, so Good Spirits which be Angels of Light are augmented not only by the Divine light of the Sun, but also by our common VVood Fire: and as the Celestial Fire drives away dark spirits, so also this our Fire of VVood doth the same."

COR. AGRIPPA, Occult Philosophy , Book I. chap. v.

"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."




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 wing├ęd 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... Continue reading book >>

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