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Soft as the fall of a beautiful thought,
Or a leaf on the stream,
White as the robe by purity wrought,
Bright as the flow of a dream.
Calm as a sleeping infant's breath,
Cold as the brow just touched by death,
Falleth in many a graceful wreath
Gently, the beautiful snow.


Caught like a robe on the leafless trees,
With diamonds in every fold;
Stepping like sprites where the fallen leaves
Mingle their brown and gold.
Covering over the graves of the flowers,
And those other graves where gems of ours
We laid away in summer hours,
Now resteth the gentle snow.


Falling to gladden the hearts of some,
With the joys it has in store;
Falling to chill, in the hovel home,
The souls of the suffering poor.
Melting to pearls on the brow of the glad,
Melting to tears on the cheek of the sad,
What gladdens the one, drives the other mad,
Oh! coldly beautiful snow.


Bright as the clouds where the sun goes down,
Is thy fall to the happy heart;
Cold as the world with its bitter frown,
To the child of woe thou art.
But if thy coming shall cheer or chill,
One hand yet gathers the winds at will,
And the eye of the Sleepless is watching still,
In pity, O, pitiless snow!