Verse > Anthologies > Higginson and Bigelow, eds. > American Sonnets
Higginson and Bigelow, comps.  American Sonnets.  1891.
Nearing the Snow-Line
By Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809–1894)
SLOW toiling upward from the misty vale,
  I leave the bright enamelled zones below;
  No more for me their beauteous bloom shall glow,
Their lingering sweetness load the morning gale;
Few are the slender flowerets, scentless, pale,        5
  That on their ice-clad stems all trembling blow
  Along the margin of unmelting snow;
Yet with unsaddened voice thy verge I hail,
  White realm of peace above the flowering-line;
Welcome thy frozen domes, thy rocky spires!        10
  O’er thee undimmed the moon-girt planets shine,
On thy majestic altars fade the fires
That filled the air with smoke of vain desires,
  And all the unclouded blue of heaven is thine!

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