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Snowed Under
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    Of a thousand things that the Year snowed under –
         The busy Old Year who has gone away –

    How many will rise in the Spring, I wonder,
         Brought to life by the sun of May?
    Will the rose-tree branches, so wholly hidden
         That never a rose-tree seems to be,
    At the sweet Spring's call come forth unbidden,
         And bud in beauty, and bloom for me?

    Will the fair green Earth, whose throbbing bosom
         Is hid like a maid's in her gown at night,
    Wake out of her sleep, and with blade and blossom
         Gem her garments to please my sight?
    Over the knoll in the valley yonder
         The loveliest buttercups bloomed and grew;
    When the snow has gone that drifted them under,
         Will they shoot up sunward, and bloom anew?

    When wild winds blew, and a sleet-storm pelted,
         I lost a jewel of priceless worth;
    If I walk that way when snows have melted,
         Will the gem gleam up from the bare brown Earth?
    I laid a love that was dead or dying,
         For the year to bury and hide from sight;
    But out of a trance will it waken, crying,
         And push to my heart, like a leaf to the light?

    Under the snow lie things so cherished – 
         Hopes, ambitions, and dreams of men – 
    Faces that vanished, and trusts that perished,
         Never to sparkle and glow again.
    The Old Year greedily grasped his plunder,
         And covered it over and hurried away:
    Of the thousand things that he did, I wonder
         How many will rise at the call of May?
    O wise Young Year, with your hands held under
         Your mantle of ermine, tell me, pray!

This poem is in the public domain.


Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919) was a popular and prolific poet. Published and lauded before she even graduated from high school, Ella preferred to write happy, upbeat poetry and was much beloved for it. More than a dozen of her poems are included in the book, Best Loved Poems of the American People (Doubleday, 2008). The familiar saying, "Laugh and the world laughs with you, weep, and you weep alone. . ." comes from her best-known poem, "Solitude." A morally strong and spiritual person, Ella believed that her purpose on earth was to practice kindness and service. Read more about her here.



Post New Comment:
Beautiful imagery. The more I read of her, the more she reminds me of the Bronte sisters. I think this was written after her husband's death. She tried to resurrect his spirit during séances, which were popular at the time.
Posted 01/13/2014 10:40 PM

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