Monday, February 6, 2017

Clement C. Moore's snow poem in the Troy Sentinel

At the Troy Public Library last week I looked for and found the other anonymously published poem by Clement C. Moore in the Troy Sentinel. As related in the earlier melvilliana post on Moore's Lines Written after a Snow-storm, these untitled and uncredited lines were reprinted "From the Troy Sentinel" in the Rhode-Island American on Tuesday, March 2, 1824. Presumably in Troy the verses were supplied by the same person or persons (Harriet Butler and/or Sarah Sackett) who, two months before, had passed along Moore's "A Visit from St. Nicholas" to editor Orville L. Holley. Clement C. Moore included a revised version in his 1844 Poems, printed there under the title Lines / Written after a Snow-storm. For expert assistance in the Troy Room I am indebted to the fine staff of the Troy Public Library. Thank you!
Lines by Clement C. Moore, first published anonymously in the
Troy Sentinel - Friday, February 20, 1824
Come dearest children [1844: children dear, and] look around;
    And see [1844: Behold] how soft and light
The silent snow has clad the ground, [1844: end comma deleted]
    In robes of purest white.

The trees are [1844: seem] deck'd by fairy hands [1844: hand],
    Nor need their native green;
And every breeze now seems [1844: appears] to stand,
    All hush'd, to view the scene.

You wonder how these [1844: the] snows were made
    That dance upon the air; [1844: end comma]
As if from purer worlds they stray'd,
    So lovely [1844: lightly] and so fair.

Perhaps they are the summer flowers, [1844: end comma deleted]
    In northern stars that bloom; [1844: end comma]
Wafted away from ivy bowers [1844: icy bowers], [1844: end comma deleted]
    To cheer our winter's gloom.  

Perhaps they are [1844: they're] feathers of a race
    Of birds, [1844: comma deleted] that live away,
In some cold wintry place, [1844: cold dreary wintry place,]
    Far from the sun's warm ray.

And clouds perhaps are downy beds, [1844: And clouds, perhaps, are downy beds]
    On which the winds repose;
Who, when they move [1844: rouse] their slumbering heads [1844: slumb'ring heads],
    Shake down the feathery [1844: feath'ry] snows.
But see, my dearlings [1844: darlings], while we stay
   And gaze with such [1844: fond] delight,
The fairy scene now [1844: soon] fades away,
   And mocks our raptur'd sight.

And let this fleeting vision teach
    A truth you soon must know —
That all the joys we here can reach, [1844: end comma deleted]
   Are transient as the snow.

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