Written By: Christian Truth Ministry | Posted: Wednesday, January 11th, 2012
In the early part of the American war, one dark Saturday morning, in the dead of winter, there died at the Commercial Hospital, Cincinnati, a young woman, over whose head only two and twenty summers had passed. She had once been possessed of an enviable share of beauty; had been as she herself said, "flattered and sought for the charms of her face", but, alas! Upon her fair brow had long been written that pitiable word - unfortunate. Once the pride of respectable parentage, her first wrong step was the small beginning of the "same old story over again", which had been the life-history of thousands. Highly educated and accomplished in manner, she might have shone in the best society. But the evil hour that proved her ruin was but the door from childhood; and having spent a young life in disgrace and shame, the poor friendless one died the melancholy death of a broken hearted outcast.
Amongst her personal effects was found, in manuscript, the "Beautiful Snow", which was immediately carried to Enos B. Reed, a gentleman of culture and literary tastes, who was at that time editor of the National Union. In the columns of that paper, on the morning following the girl's death, the poem appeared for the first time. When the paper containing the poem came out on Sunday morning, the body of the victim had not yet received burial. The attention of Thomas Buchanan Read, one of the first American poets, was soon directed to the newly published lines, who was so taken with their stirring pathos, that he immediately followed the corpse to its final resting place.
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