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SNOW

Lo, what wonders the day hath brought,
Born of the soft and slumbrous snow!
Gradual, silent, slowly wrought;
Even as an artist, thought by thought,
Writes expression on lip and brow.

Hanging garlands the eaves o'erbrim,
Deep drifts smother the paths below;
The elms are shrouded, trunk and limb,
And all the air is dizzy and dim
With a whirl of dancing, dazzling snow.

Dimly out of the baffled sight
Houses and church-spires stretch away;
The trees, all spectral and still and white,
Stand up like ghosts in the failing light,
And fade and faint with the blinded day.

Down from the roofs in gusts are hurled
The eddying drifts to the waste below;
And still is the banner of storm unfurled,
Till all the drowned and desolate world
Lies dumb and white in a trance of snow.

Slowly the shadows gather and fall,
Still the whispering snow-flakes beat;
Night and darkness are over all:
Rest, pale city, beneath their pall!
Sleep, white world, in thy winding-sheet!

Clouds may thicken, and storm-winds breathe:
On my wall is a glimpse of Rome, -
Land of my longing! - and underneath
Swings and trembles my olive-wreath;
Peace and I are at home, at home!
Elizabeth Akers Allen[1832-1911]