Our snow last night reminded me of this poem I came across while preparing for a sermon series on forgiveness several years ago. I’ll only post a portion, but you can read the complete poem and the story behind it here.
Once I was pure as the snow, but I fell,
Fell like the snow flakes from Heaven to Hell;
Fell to be trampled as filth in the street,
Fell to be scoffed, to be spit on and beat;
Pleading — Cursing — Dreading to die,
Selling my soul to whoever would buy;
Dealing in shame for a morsel of bread,
Hating the living and fearing the dead,
Merciful God! have I fallen so low!
And yet I was once like the beautiful snow.
Once I was fair as the beautiful snow,
With an eye like a crystal, a heart like its glow;
Once I was loved for my innocent grace —
Flattered and sought for the charms of my face!
Fathers — Mothers — Sisters — all,
God and myself I have lost by my fall;
The veriest wretch that goes shivering by,
Will make a wide sweep lest I wander too nigh,
For all that is on or above me I know,
There is nothing so pure as the beautiful snow.
How strange it should be that this beautiful snow
Should fall on a sinner with nowhere to go!
How strange it should be when the night comes again
If the snow and the ice struck my desperate brain!
Fainting — Freezing — Dying — alone,
Too wicked for prayer, too weak for a moan
To be heard in the streets of the crazy town,
Gone mad in the joy of snow coming down;
To be and to die in my terrible woe,
With a bed and a shroud of
of the beautiful snow.
Helpless and foul as the trampled snow,
Sinner, despair not! Christ stoopeth low
To rescue the soul that is lost in sin,
And raise it to life and enjoyment again.
Groaning — Bleeding — Dying — for thee,
The Crucified One hung on the cursed tree!
His accents of mercy fall soft on thine ear,
“Is there mercy for me? Will He heed my weak prayer?”
Oh God! in the stream that for sinners did flow
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.