A Word from Mr. Street

Alfred_Billings_StreetWhen Edmund Leslie wrote about our first settlers in his epic scrapbook, Skaneateles: History of its earliest settlement and reminiscences of later times (1902), he quoted at length from “The Pioneer,” a poem by Alfred Billings Street (1811-1881), who in addition to being a poet and author, was also the New York State Librarian from 1848 to 1881. Given the weather lately, I thought Mr. Street’s lines deserved to be read again:

“When the chains
Of winter fetter Nature, and no sound
Disturbs the echoes of the dreary woods,
Save when some stem cracks sharply with the frost…
… and when the long, keen night
Mantles the wilderness in solemn gloom,
He sits beside the ruddy hearth, and hears
The wolf fierce snarling at the cabin door,
Or through the lowly casement sees his eye
Gleam like a burning coal.”


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