Snow Fancies by Lucy Larcom

O snow! flying hither
And hurrying thither,
Here, there, through the air,—you never care whither,—
Do you see me here sitting,
A-knitting, a-knitting,
And wishing myself with you breezily flitting,
Like any wild elf?
Mother sits there a-rocking,
And watches my stocking;
Well, I know I am slow, and she thinks it is shocking:
While Lizzie and Sally,
They twit me, and rally,—
My thoughts, half asleep, chase your flakes to the valley,
A drowsy white heap.
Dear Sally and Lizzie,
My sisters so busy,
In and out, all about, you make my head dizzy;
You hasten, you flutter,
You spin, you churn butter,
You sew the long seams; while I cannot utter
One word of my dreams.
Lo! light as a feather,
The merry flakes gather
In rifts and in drifts, glad enough of cold weather;
Gay throngs interlacing,
On the slant roofs embracing,
They slip and they fall! down, down they are racing,
I after them all!
One large flake advances;
'Tis a white steed that prances;
At the bits as he flits, how he foams, like my fancies!
Up softly I sidle
From where I sit idle,—
I snatch, as it flies, at the gossamer bridle,—
I'm mounted, I rise!
Away we are bounding,
No hoof-note resounding,
Still as light is our flight through the armies surrounding;
No murmur, no rustling,
Though millions are jostling;
A host is in camp, but you heard neither bustling
Nor bugle, nor tramp.
Yet the truce-flag is lifted;
Unfurled it lies drifted
Over hill, over rill, where its snow could be sifted;
And now I'm returning
To parley concerning
The beautiful cause that awakened my yearning,—
The trouble that was.
Ho! ho! a swift fairy,—
A pearl-shallop airy!
I am caught, quick as thought! fleece-muffled and hairy,
Her grim boatman tightens
His grasp, till it frightens
Me, half, as we sail to the east where it brightens,
On waves of the gale.
White, dimpled, and winning,
The fairy sits spinning,
From her hair, floating fair, coils of cable beginning,
Her shallop to tether
In stress of bleak weather,
While the boatman and I, wrapped in ermine together,
Drift on through the sky.
Stay! the boat is upsetting!
My fairy, forgetting
Her coil and her toil, to escape from a wetting
Has now the one notion:
Below boils the ocean!
I scream,—I am heard,—up, in arrowy motion,
I'm borne by a bird,—
A gray eagle!—over
The seas flies the rover;
And I ride as his guide, a new world to discover.
He bears me on, steady,
Through whirlwind and eddy;
I cling to his neck, and he ever is ready
To pause at my beck.
White doves through the ether
Come flocking together.
How they crowd to me, proud if I smooth one soft feather!
O what is the matter?
They startle,—they scatter!
On the wet window-pane hear my eagle's claws clatter!—
The snow's turned to rain!
Tears, why will you glitter?
My sisters they titter,
And there from her chair mother calls, “What a knitter!”
My ball pussy twitches,—
I've dropped twenty stitches,—
My needles all rust,—they will earn me no riches;
Alas if they must!