'Tis Winter Now; the Fallen Snow
February 16, 2021
I read this morning that we have had 39” of snow since January 15th. I made a joke in staff meeting, saying it was too bad we had not recorded “‘Tis Winter Now; the Fallen Snow” for worship this week. We didn’t, but it did inspire me to look up the text. It is a hymn written by Samuel Longfellow (yes, poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s brother). Samuel Longfellow was a Unitarian minister in Massachusetts in the mid 19th century, which makes him a devotee of transcendentalism nearly by default.
While I take issue with parts of the philosophy, there is one thing I would cling to in these trying times, which is its optimism. It holds up the inherent goodness of people, of nature, and of God. Now, as we are buried under snow in a time of already being in our homes nearly 24/7, what a welcome message. I hope you will enjoy this hymn’s hope as much as I did and allow it to warm your soul on this cold winter’s day.
1 'Tis winter now; the fallen snow
has left the heavens all coldly clear;
through leafless boughs the sharp winds blow,
and all the earth lies dead and drear.
2 And yet God's love is not withdrawn;
New life within the keen air breathes;
God’s beauty paints the crimson dawn,
and clothes each branch with glittering wreaths.
3 And though abroad the sharp winds blow,
and skies are chill, and frosts are keen,
home closer draws her circle now,
and warmer glows her light within.
4 O God, you give the winter's cold,
as well as summer's joyous rays,
you warmly in your love enfold,
and keep us through life's wintry days.