In keeping with Paul’s nod to Robert Frost, let’s remember another Merrimack Valley poet even more associated with the beauty, wiles and challenges of a snow storm. John Greenleaf Whittier – a rural Haverhill-born poet – offers the narrated tale of a snowstorm in early 1800’s New England. Let we forget – Whittier has the requisite Lowell connection. He took an editing job with the Middlesex Standard in Lowell, Massachusetts – working until 1844. While in Lowell, he met Lucy Larcom who became his lifelong friend.
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.