A poem by Hattie Howard

Of specious weight like tissue freight
The snowflakes are - in sparkle pure
As the rich parure
A lovely queen were proud to wear;
As volatile, as fine and rare
As thistle-down dispersed in air,
Or bits of filmy lace;
Like nature's tear-drops strewn around
That beautify and warm the ground,
But melt upon my face.

A ton or more against my door
They lie, and look, in form and tint,
Like piles of lint,
When war's alarum roused the land,
Wrought out by woman's loyal hand
From linen rag, and robe, and band -
From garments cast aside -
In hospital, on battle-field
The shattered limb that bound and healed,
Or stanched life's ebbing tide.

I see the gleam of lake and stream,
The silver glint in frost portrayed
Of the bright cascade;
They bear the moisture of marshes dank,
The dew of the lawn, or river bank,
The river itself by sunlight drank;
All these in frigid air,
That strange alembic, crystallize
In odd, fantastic shape and size
Like gems of dazzling glare.

Oh, of the snow such fancies grow,
'Till thought is lost in wandering,
And wondering
If portions of their drapery
The angel beings, sad to see
So much of earth's impurity,
Have dropped from clearer skies
As snowflakes, hiding stain and blot
To make this world a fairer spot,
And more like Paradise.

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