Selections from the American poets
William Cullen Bryant
THE MOTHER PERISHING IN A SNOWSTORM.
In the year 1821, a Mrs. Blake perished in a snowstorm in the nighttime, while travelling over a spur of the Green Mountains in Vermont. She had an infant with her, which was found alive and well in the morning, being carefully wrapped in the mother's clothing."
THE cold winds swept the mountain's height,
And pathless was the dreary wild,
And mid the cheerless hours of night
A mother wander'd with her child:
As through the drifting snow she press'd,
The babe was sleeping on her breast.
And colder still the winds did blow,
And darker hours of night came on,
And deeper grew the drifting snow:
Her limbs were chill'd, her strength was gone:
"Oh, God! she cried, in accents wild,
"If I must perish, save my child!"
She stripp'd her mantle from her breast,
And bared her bosom to the storm,
And round the child she wrapp'd the vest,
And smiled to think her babe was warm.
With one cold kiss one tear she shed,
And sunk upon her snowy bed.