The snowflakes fell on a mountain peak,
Where the rocks were bare and the winds were bleak,
And at first they clung to the mountain's breast,
But soon they fell from its lofty crest,
And stained and soiled was the new-born snow
When it reached the valley far down below.
But up on the height one drift alone
Still firmly clung to the rugged stone.
And men in the gloomy vale below
Looked up and gazed on the shining snow.
And their darkened souls drank in the light
From the gleaming snow on the mountain height.
Unstained by the grime of the earthly vale.
Its white breast firm in the strongest gale.
It bravely clung to its lofty height
And gleamed afar with its glorious light,
Till kissed by the sun and the summer rain.
It rose in mist to the skies again.
from In a Belgian Garden, and other poems, 1917
[Poem is in the public domain in Canada and the United States]