Snow and a Poem

One of the poems our children memorize when they are in fifth grade is “The First Snow-fall” by James Russell Lowell.  Yesterday as we watched the snow pour down, some of the lines kept repeating in my head.  I have illustrated the first several verses with some scenes captured this morning as my husband and I walked with our dog.

Main Street

Back alley
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The First Snow-fall

The snow had begun in the gloaming

And busily all the night

Had been heaping field and highway

With a silence deep and white.

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Every pine and fir and hemlock

Wore ermine too dear for an earl,

And the poorest twig on the elm-tree

Was ridged inch deep with pearl.

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From sheds new-roofed with Carrara

Came Chanticleer’s muffled crow,

The stiff rails softened to swan’s-down,

And still fluttered down the snow.

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I have to admit I had to look up some of the words in the dictionary.  “Carrara” is a type of marble, and “Chanticleer” is a rooster.  While we do not have any roosters in town, my husband did manage to capture a picture of this wood pecker in back of our house.


The children have enjoyed the snow the last two days.  Yesterday they were out several times in the pouring snow.  By this morning, we had an accumulation of about nine inches.  Today they shoveled, made snow angels, and went sledding.  Oh, and we have had snow cream twice.  Yum!

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4 thoughts on “Snow and a Poem

  1. I’m not familiar with that poem, but I think it’s beautiful! I’m so glad you told me what “carrara” is because I had no idea at all! 🙂

    You all had about double the snow we did. It really is lovely! 🙂


  2. Thanks Davene! The rest of the poem is a bit sad as it talks about his little daughter who has passed away, but it is a beautiful poem. I find the more times I go over a poem, the more meaning I glean from it.


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