Home  »  A Library of American Literature  »  Enfoldings

Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889


By Mary Mapes Dodge (1831–1905)

THE SNOWFLAKE that softly, all night, is whitening tree-top and pathway;

The avalanche suddenly rushing with darkness and death to the hamlet.

The ray stealing in through the lattice to waken the day-loving baby;

The pitiless horror of light in the sun-smitten reach of the desert.

The seed with its pregnant surprise of welcome young leaflet and blossom;

The despair of the wilderness tangle, and treacherous thicket of forest.

The happy west wind as it startles some noon-laden flower from its dreaming;

The hurricane crashing its way through the homes and the life of the valley.

The play of the jetlets of flame when the children laugh out on the hearthstone;

The town or the prairie consumed in a terrible, hissing combustion.

The glide of a wave on the sands with its myriad sparkle in breaking;

The roar and the fury of ocean, a limitless maelstrom of ruin.

The leaping of heart unto heart with bliss that can never be spoken;

The passion that maddens, and shows how God may be thrust from His creatures.

For this do I tremble and start when the rose on the vine taps my shoulder,

For this when the storm beats me down my soul groweth bolder and bolder.