What The Snow-Flakes Did

OVER the great broad prairie

The snow-flakes, soft and light, 

Began in early morning

To carpet the ground with white. 

Softly they flutter downward,

And some of them paused to rest 

On two little threads of iron,

That tie the East to the West.

But one little snow-flake whispered,

"Alas! How small am I! 

On this cold, hard bed of iron

What can I do but die?" 

Her sister snow-flake answered,

"Yes, I know that we are small, 

But that needn't worry you, sister,

We've nothing to do but fall!"

Then every listening snow-flake

Went steadily on and on 

Falling and falling and falling,

Till the wintry day was gone 

And then, why the rails were hidden,

And everywhere the eye 

Saw only the spotless snow-drifts

Under the cold gray sky.

In vain the panting engine

With snort and scream, essayed 

To pass, the tiny snow-flakes

A giant barrier made  

Came hurrying men and engines,

While frantic whistle blew, 

Till at last eight "iron horses"

The train in safety drew 

Now if every little snow-flake

Had paused that stormy day, 

To muse and sigh despondent 

To melt upon its way 

They never could have wrought the chain

That link by link they threw 

Around that monster engine,

And held it captive too.

This story of the snow-flakes

Is more than idle verse 

It points you to a moral

Which I need scarce rehearse: 

That any thought, word, action,

However light and small, 

May aid you in your heavenward way,

Or bind you here in thrall.


"Will the winter never be over ?

Will the dark days never go? 

Must the buttercup and the clover 

Always remain under the snow? "

But the poet whispers a word of 

encouragement for us just now, for 

"The weariest month of the year, friend, 

Is the shortest and nearest spring."