All sheltered by the mother-cloud
    The little flake looked down;
It saw the city's seething crowd,
    It saw the shining town.

"How fair and far those steeples rise
    To greet us, mother dear!
It is so lovely in the skies,
    Why do we linger here?

"The south wind says the merry earth
    Is full of life and glow;
I long to mingle with its mirth--
    O mother! let us go."

The mother-cloud reached out her arm,
    "Oh, little flake," quoth she,
"The earth is full of sin and harm,
    Bide here, bide here, with me."

But when the pale cloud-mother slept,
    The north wind whispered "Fly!"
And from her couch the snowflake crept
    And tiptoed down the sky.

Before the Winter's sun his fleet
    Brief journey made that day,
All soiled and blackened in the street,
    The little snowflake lay.

Poems of Power by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Chicago : W. B. Conkey, 1902.

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