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 JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL.
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 wavered down the snow.
I stood and watched from my 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.
"Every pine and fir and hemlock wore ermine too dear for an earl."
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 snowfall, And thought of the leaden sky That arched o'er our first great sorrow
When that mound was heaped so high.
I remember the gradual patience That fell from that cloud like snow, Flake by flake, healing and hiding
The scar of our buried woe.
And again to the child I whispered "The snow that husheth all,
Darling, the merciful
Alone can bid 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.