The Snowman In The Yard

By Joyce Kilmer

The Judge’s house has a splendid porch, with
pillars and steps of stone,
And the Judge has a lovely flowering hedge that
came from across the seas;
In the Hales’ garage you could put my house and
everything I own,
And the Hales have a lawn like an emerald and a
row of poplar trees.

Now I have only a little house, and only a little lot,
And only a few square yards of lawn, with
dandelions starred;
But when Winter comes, I have something there
that the Judge and the Hales have not,
And it’s better worth having than all their wealth–
it’s a snowman in the yard.

The Judge’s money brings architects to make his
mansion fair;
The Hales have seven gardeners to make their
roses grow;
The Judge can get his trees from Spain and France
and everywhere,
And raise his orchids under glass in the midst of
all the snow.

But I have something no architect or gardener ever
A thing that is shaped by the busy touch of little
mittened hands:
And the Judge would give up his lonely estate,
where the level snow is laid
For the tiny house with the trampled yard, the
yard where the snowman stands.

They say that after Adam and Eve were driven
away in tears
To toil and suffer their life-time through,
because of the sin they sinned,
The Lord made Winter to punish them for half
their exiled years,
To chill their blood with the snow, and pierce
their flesh with the icy wind.

But we who inherit the primal curse, and labour
for our bread,
Have yet, thank God, the gift of Home, though
Eden’s gate is barred:
And through the Winter’s crystal veil, Love’s roses
blossom red,
For him who lives in a house that has a snowman
in the yard.

This Poem Features In: