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 Sarah Hackett) 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 [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 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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