December 22, 2013

Birth of Butterworth: the snow will fall

Hezekiah Butterworth was born in Warren, Rhode Island on December 22, 1839. He went on to become a prolific writer of poetry, history and biography (though much of the details he used were somewhat fanciful) and, particularly, of lengthy travel sketches in a series called "Zig-Zag." As a contributor to periodicals, he was associated with the Youth's Companion, the Knickerbocker, and St. Nicholas. He occasionally presented public lectures as well and advocated for children's literature as a separate genre from adult writing. Much of his work reflects his religious beliefs. Among his many books was Poems for Christmas, Easter, and New Year's (1885). Included in that collection is the poem "Light-Hearted Amid the Snow":

The snow-flakes fell on her golden hair
    As she hied from her home away,
And bright to her as the April air
    Was the shadowy Christmas day.

Yes, fair as the daisied fields were the skies,
    For her heart was glad and warm,
And it changed the world to a paradise,
    And to blossoming air the storm.

Laugh on, laugh on, O Maiden fair,
    Laugh on in the stormy while you may;
The snow will fall on your golden hair
    On another Christmas day.

The snow of years will fall on your hair,
    May the Christmas hope still glow,
And you will be then as free from care,
    And light-hearted amid the snow.

*For more on Hezekiah Butterworth, visit www.hezekiahbutterworth.com.

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