Storm-bound.

A poem by Hattie Howard

My careful plans all storm-subdued,
In disappointing solitude
The weary hours began;
And scarce I deemed when time had sped,
Marked only by the passing tread
Of some pedestrian.

But with the morrow's tranquil dawn,
A fairy scene I looked upon
That filled me with delight;
Far-reaching from my own abode,
The world in matchless splendor glowed,
Arrayed in spotless white.

The surface of the hillside slope
Gleamed in my farthest vision's scope
Like opalescent stone;
Rich jewels hung on every tree,
Whose crystalline transparency
Golconda's gems outshone.

Beyond the line where wayside posts
Stood up, like fear-inspiring ghosts
Of awful form and mien,
A mansion tall, my neighbor's pride,
A seeming castle fortified,
Uprose in wondrous sheen.

The evergreens loomed up before
My staunch and storm-defying door,
Like snowy palaces
That one dare only penetrate
With reverence - as at Heaven's gate,
Awed by its mysteries.

The apple trees' extended arms
Upheld a thousand varied charms;
The curious tracery
Of trellised grapevine seemed to me
A rare network of filigree
In silver drapery.

And I no longer thought it hard
From favorite pursuits debarred,
Nor gazed with rueful face;
For every object seemed to be
Invested with the witchery
Of magic art and grace.

And, though a multitude of cares,
Perplexing, profitless affairs,
Absorbed the hours, it seems
That on the golden steps of thought
I mounted heavenward, and wrought
Out many hopeful schemes.

Thus every day, though it may span
The gulf wherein some cherished plan
Lies disarranged and crossed,
If, ere its close, we shall have trod
The path that leads us nearer God,
Cannot be counted lost.

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