And through the glass the clothes-line posts
Looked in like tall and sheeted ghosts.
So all night long the storm roared on :
The morning broke without a sun ;
In tiny spherule traced with lines
Of Nature’s geometric signs,
In starry flake, and pellicle,
All day the hoary meteor fell;
And, when the second morning shone,
We looked upon a world unknown.
On nothing we could call our own.
Around the glistening wonder bent
The blue walls of the firmament.
No cloud above, no earth below —
A universe of sky and snow!
The old familiar sights of ours
Took marvellous shapes; strange domes and towers
Rose up where sty or corn-crib stood,
Or garden wall, or belt of wood;
A smooth white mound the brush-pile showed,
A fenceless drift what once was road;
The bridle-post an old man sat 60
With loose-flung coat and high cocked hat;
The well-curb had a Chinese roof;
And even the long sweep, high aloof,
In its slant splendor, seemed to tell
Of Pisa’s leaning miracle.
A prompt, decisive man, no breath
Our father wasted: “Boys, a path!”
Well pleased (for when did farmer boy
Count such a summons less than joy?)