In a tumultuous privacy of storm

 


 Announced by all the trumpets of the sky,
 Arrives the snow, and, driving o’er the fields,
 Seems nowhere to alight: the whited air
 Hides hill and woods, the river, and the heaven,
 And veils the farmhouse at the garden’s end.
 The sled and traveller stopped, the courier’s feet
 Delayed, all friends shut out, the housemates sit
 Around the radiant fireplace, enclosed
 In a tumultuous privacy of storm.
 Come see the north wind’s masonry.
 Out of an unseen quarry evermore
 Furnished with tile, the fierce artificer
 Curves his white bastions with projected roof
 Round every windward stake, or tree, or door.
 Speeding, the myriad-handed, his wild work
 So fanciful, so savage, nought cares he
 For number or proportion. Mockingly,
 On coop or kennel he hangs Parian wreaths;
 A swan-like form invests the hidden thorn;
 Fills up the famer’s lane from wall to wall,
 Maugre the farmer’s sighs; and at the gate
 A tapering turret overtops the work.
 And when his hours are numbered, and the world
 Is all his own, retiring, as he were not,
 Leaves, when the sun appears, astonished Art
 To mimic in slow structures, stone by stone,
 Built in an age, the mad wind’s night-work,
 The frolic architecture of the snow.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
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