This section is from the book "Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: A Guide To Correct Writing", by Thos. E. Hill. Also available from Amazon: Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: The How-To-Do-Everything Book Of Victorian America.
BY CHARLES G. EASTMAN.
IS A fearful night in the winter time,
As cold as it ever can be; The roar of the blast is heard, like the chime
In the strength of a mighty glee.
All day had the snow come down - all day,
As it never came down before; And over the hills, at sunset, lay
Some two or three feet or more; The fence was lost, and the wall of stone, The windows blocked, and the well-curbs gone; The haystack had grown to a mountain lift. And the woodpile looked like a monster drift,
As it lav by the farmer's door.
The night sets in on a world of snow, While the air grows sharp and chill, And the warning roar of a fearful blow
Is heard on the distant hill; And the Norther! See - on the mountain peak,
Such a night as this to be found abroad, In the drifts and the freezing air,
Sits a shivering dog in the field by the road; With the snow in his shaggy hair!
He shuts his eyes to the wind, and growls;
He lifts his head and moans and howls;
Then crouching low from the cutting sleet,
His nose is pressed on his quivering feet: Pray, what does the dog do there?
A farmer came from the village plain,
But he lost the traveled way; And for hours he trod, with might and main,
A path for his horse and sleigh; But colder still the cold wind blew, And deeper still the deep drifts grew, And his mare, a beautiful Morgan brown, At last in her struggles floundered down,
Where a log in a hollow lay.
"two tender feet upon the untried border of life's mysterious land." 557
In vain, with a neigh and a frenzied snort,
She plunged in the drifting snow, While her master urged, till his breath grew short,
With a word and a gentle blow; But the snow was deep, and the tugs were tight, His hands were numb, and had lost their might; So he wallowed back to his half-filled sleigh, And strove to shelter himself till day,
With his coat and the buffalo.
He has given the last faint jerk of the rein
To rouse up his dying steed, And the poor dog howls to the blast in vain,
For help in his master's need; For a while he strives, with a wistful cry, To catch a glance from his drowsy eye, And wags his tail if the rude winds flap The skirt of the buffalo over his lap,
And whines when he takes no heed.
The wind goes down, and the storm is o'er:
'Tis the hour of midnight past; /
The old trees writhe and bend no more
In the whirl of the rushing blast; The silent moon, with her peaceful light, Looks down on the hills, with snow all white; And the giant shadow of Camel's Hump, The blasted pine and the ghostly stump,
Afar on the plain are cast.
But cold and dead, by the hidden log,
Are they who came from the town:
The man in his sleigh, and his faithful dog,
And his beautiful Morgan brown - In the wide snow-desert, far and grand, With his cap on his head, and the reins in his hand, The dog with his nose on his master's feet, And the mare half seen through the crusted sleet,
Where she lay when she floundered down.