Out in the cold, wild, drifting snow,
Blindly wandering to and fro,
For the night was dark and I went astray,
And I laboured long long ere I found my way.
I looked to the left, and I looked to the right,
But never an object appeared in sight;
I could neither proceed nor yet turn back,
For the snow had hidden the beaten track,
And I struggled and wallowed thro' soft deep snow,
And I knew not what way I should go.
Nor moon, nor stars, nor light could I see,
And the thick, cold drift kept blinding me.
And hope for a time seemed almost gone,
Yet I braved the tempest and still moved on.
Harshly and loudly the wild winds howled,
As if the dark dog of Pluto growled;
For if ever the Spirit of wrath had power,
'Twas put into motion in that dread hour.
Thro' chilling drifts and the bitter blast,
I stumbled upon the right path at last;
And I reached my home--O! joyful sight,
And escaped from a cold, lone death that night.
O! ye who inhabit a milder clime,
And smoothly glide down the stream of time,
But little ye know of the storms severe,
And hardships endured by the people here--
Toiling along thro' snows so deep,
The wearied traveller sinks to sleep;
To sleep--to yield up his vital breath,
And be found congealed in the grasp of death.
O! ye who enjoy your homes so warm,
And feel not the cold of the raging storm,
Think, sometimes think of the shivering poor
At their woodless stove, on a cold, bare floor;
And the surplus comforts which ye can spare
With the needy and comfortless go and share.
And should your gratitude point you to heaven,
To thank your God for his blessings given,
O! think of the way-worn luckless wight
Exposed to the tempest on such a night;
And to Him who can winds and waves command,
Commit the travellers by sea or by land,
And vow that you never will shut your door
'Gainst the homeless stranger or friendless poor.