White are the far-off plains,
And white the fading forests grow;
The wind dies out along the height
And denser still the snow,
A gathering weight on roof and tree
Falls down scarce audibly.
The meadows and far-sheeted streams
Lie still without a sound;
Like some soft minister of dreams
The snowfall hoods me around;
In wood and water, earth and air,
A silence is everywhere.
Save when at lonely spells
Some farmer's sleigh is urged on,
With rustling runner and sharp bells,
Swings by me and is gone;
Or from the empty waste I hear
A sound remote and clear;
The barking of a dog,
To cattle, is sharply pealed,
Borne, echoing from some wayside stall
Or barnyard far afield;
Then all is silent and the snow
Falls settling soft and slow
The evening deepens and the grey
Folds closer Earth to sky
The world seems shrouded, so far away.
Its noises sleep, and I
As secret as yon buried stream
Plod dumbly on and dream.
And I dream…