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I well remember how, a girl,
I watched the first fair snowflake whirl
From cold November's evening sky,
With pensive mind and thoughtful eye,
And, almost hour by hour, would peer
Through the gray, snowy atmosphere,
For Leyden hills of distant blue,
For Hoosac hills and pastures too,
And the pale gleam of tombstone's chill
Upon the lonely burying hill;
For many a homestead's chimney dear
In village far, or village near,
And catch the first far candle's light
That glimmered through the coming night.


And now, though I no longer dwell
Among those scenes I loved so well,
THe first snowflake I never see
Fall, softly, through the air to me,
But once, once more I nestle down
A child among the homesteads brown,
And by the same broad windows lean
To watch the twilight's pensive scene.
How many a mossy roof I fain
Would stand beneath but once again!
How many a fireside's mirth would share,
Its last affliction or its care;
Its changes sad, or changes gay,
Its marriage feast and holiday;
Its children, I have never seen,
But whom I still should know, I ween;
And in a kindly gossip spend
A pleasant evening with a friend.


And often do I close my eyes
Upon the world's old vanities;
The sigh for wealth, the pride of place,
Not fear of sin but sin's disgrace;
And, leaving living foe or friend,
Above those grass-grown hillocks bend,
Where slumbers on the darling dust
In which affection put its trust;
The fair, fresh face of joyous youth,
The heart which kept its guileless truth;
The placid face of patient age,
The matron mild, the hoary sage;
And wet again with faithful tears,
The graves I have not seen for years.