The Snowflake Tree by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
From Mary E. Wilkins Freeman’s collection Once Upon a Time and Other Child-Verses, illustrated by Etheldred B. Barry, (1897). The Snowflake Tree is a poem children can easily visualize, well-suited to the winter holidays.
THE hawthorn is dead, the rose-leaves have fled
On the north wind over the sea:
Now the petals will fall that are rarest of all,
Sweetheart, from the Snowflake Tree.
The Tree, it doth stand in that marvellous land
Whose shore like a sapphire gleams,
Where a crown hangs high in the northern sky,
Forth raying its golden beams.
It tosses its boughs with their crystalling blows;
They crackle and tinkle for glee
When the north wind shrieks round the awful peaks,
On the shores of the polar sea.
And never a bird its blossoms has stirred,
Or built on its branches a nest;
For the perfume which floats from the blossoms’ throats
Would freeze the song in its breast.
And my own little bird, were her goldilocks stirred
By the wind thro’ its branches which blows,
With her songs silenced all, forever would fall
Asleep on the silver snows.
But our hearth burns bright, little sweetheart,
And we’re far from the Snowflake Tree;
Thou canst nestle in bed thy little gold head,
And thy songs shall awaken with thee.