December Snow

The falling snow a stainless veil doth cast
Upon the relics of the dying year —
Dead leaves and withered flowers and stubble sere —
As if it would erase the faded past;
So on our lives does death descend at last,
Hiding youth's hopes and manhood's purpose clear,
And memories faint, to dreaming age most dear,
Beneath its silence, blank and white and vast.

The sun shines out, and lo! the meadows lone
Flash into sudden splendor, strangely bright,
More fair than summer landscape ever shone;
Thus, gleaming through the storm clouds faith's clear light
Transforms death's endless waste of silence white
To beauty passing all that life has known.
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