Julia A. Moore

The Sweet Singer of Michigan


How well do I remember
      Of a burial in the snow,
On a winter's evening
      Some fifteen years ago;
The ground was covered over
      With the beautiful crystal snow,
And it glistened in the moonlight,
      Like diamonds all aglow.

It was a pleasant evening,
      That merry Christmas eve;
And I never can forget, how
      The frost hung on the tree.
The moon was shining clearly,
      And the sleigh-bells rang so sweet;
Ah, it was splendid sleighing,
      The snow was two feet deep.

My grandparents were living
      Some two miles then away,
My parents went to see them,
      To spend the holiday.
I went with my kind parents,
      For the evening was sublime,
To see dear aunts and uncles,
      And have a merry time,

I saw the beaming faces
      Of my grandparents dear,
As they met us on the door-step,
      With welcome words of cheer.
In fancy I can see them
      As in the days of yore,
When they welcome home their children
      Through the old familiar door.

The banquet board that evening,
      Was filled with cake and wine,
Delicious fruits and oysters
      That came from foreign clime.
It was a merry party
      That met once more to roam,
My grandparents were happy,
      Their children were all home.

Grandpapa said, "dear children,
      Lay the tea things aside,
And some of you get ready
      To take a pleasant ride.
The moon is shining clearly,
      The evening is sublime,
O'er the crystal snow we'll glide,
      And have a jolly time."

Hats and cloaks were soon put on,
      By those who wish to go,
They were wrapped up snug and warm,
      For a sleigh ride o'er the snow.
Their hearts were light and gleeful,
      They rode away with ease,
I never can forget them,
      Or that merry Christmas eve.

On that beautiful evening,
      They rode five miles away,
O'er hills, and dales, and frozen snow,
      With prospects bright and gay.
They came to their journey's end,
      And soon were homeward bound,
A more joyous, happy band
      Was nowhere to be found,

The merry sleigh bells ringing
      Out on the midnight air,
And merry voices singing
      All "right side up with care! "
The horses were high-spirited,
      They ran away, and lo!
Broke loose from the sleigh, and left
      It buried in the snow.

The people of that party
      Lay scattered all around,
Some were frightened, others laughed,
      To think it happened so,
That the end of their sleigh ride
      Was a burial in the snow.

Yet they were gay and happy,
      The bright moon o'er them shone,
And laughing o'er their sleigh ride,
      They all went trudging home.
Some of those friends are dead and gone,
      That met in that old home,
And never will we meet again,
      Around that dear hearth stone.

Reprinted from The Sweet Singer of Michigan: Poems by Mrs. Julia A. Moore ,
ed. Walter Blair (Chicago: Pascal Covici, 1928).
Return to Julia A. Moore Home Page