Author: John Greenleaf Whittier
First published: 1866
Locale: Haverhill, Massachusetts
Time: Early nineteenth century
The Poet, who remembers a great snowfall of his boyhood, with all its beauty and attendant pleasures.
Our Father, the poet's father, a man of action. To the snow-bound group collected around the fire, he tells stories of adventures with Indians, of fishing trips, and of witches reputed to have inhabited the land long ago.
Our Mother, who, while turning her wheel, tells of Indian raids, of her happy girlhood, and of stories read in books by famous and revered Quakers.
Our Uncle, who is innocent of books. He shares his knowledge of nature: moons and tides, weather signs, and birds and beasts.
OurDearAunt, a selfless unmarried woman of simple faith.
The Elder Sister, who is impulsive, generous, truthful, and sternly just.
The Youngest Sister, the dearest, a sweet and loving girl.
Brother, the only one of the happy group, besides the poet, now living.
The Schoolmaster, a boarder in the Whittier home. A poor man's son, he learned independence as a boy. Seemingly carefree and boyish, he is an earnest shaper of youthful minds. The cause of freedom should have many young apostles like him.
Another Guest (Harriet Livermore), a strange, half-feared, half-welcome woman, violent of temper, eccentric, cultured, and intense. Later, she will go to Europe and the Near East, prophesying the imminent second coming of Christ.