“Snowbound” ~ John Greenleaf Whittier
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.
Be enticed by these opening lines and read the whole poem “Snowbound: A Winter Idyl”. (Just clink the link.) Learn more about Whittier – the poet, journalist and abolitionist.
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.