James Russell Lowell

February 22, 1819-August 12, 1891
Cambridge, MA

Lowell was a son of the Reverend Charles Lowell and Harriet Traill (Spence) Lowell. When he married Maria White, he had four children. Three of them died in childhood. A bit after that, Maria White passed away. After she passed away, he went into literature, history, and politics.

.James Russel Lowell was an american romantic poet, critic, editor, and diplomat. He graduated at Harvard College in 1838. He wanted to take law at Harvard Law School. When he married Maria White, a poet, he went into poetry instead. He put law on the side and started writing poems instead.

The First Snowfall

by James Russell Lowell

The snow had begun in the gloaming,

And busily all the night

Had been heaping field and highway

With a silence deep and white.

Every pine and fir and hemlock

Wore ermine too dear for an earl,

And the poorest twig on the elm-tree

Was ridged inch deep with pearl.

From sheds new-roofed with Carrara

Came Chanticleer's muffled crow,

The stiff rails were softened to swan's-down,

And still fluttered down the snow.

I stood and watched by the window

The noiseless work of the sky,

And the sudden flurries of snow-birds,

Like brown leaves whirling by.

I thought of a mound in sweet Auburn

Where a little headstone stood;

How the flakes were folding it gently,

As did robins the babes in the wood.

Up spoke our own little Mabel,

Saying, "Father, who makes it snow?"

And I told of the good All-father

Who cares for us here below.

Again I looked at the snow-fall,

And thought of the leaden sky

That arched o'er our first great sorrow,

When that mound was heaped so high.

I remembered the gradual patience

That fell from that cloud-like snow,

Flake by flake, healing and hiding

The scar of our deep-plunged woe.

And again to the child I whispered,

"The snow that husheth all,

Darling, the merciful Father

Alone can make it fall!"

Then, with eyes that saw not, I kissed her;

And she, kissing back, could not know

That my kiss was given to her sister,

Folded close under deepening snow.

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