Away! away! — our fires stream bright
Along the frozen river,
And their arrowy sparkles of brilliant light
On the forest branches quiver;
Away, away, for the stars are forth,
And on the pure snows of the valley,
In giddy trance the moonbeams dance;
Come let us our comrades rally.
Away, away, o’er the sheeted ice,
Away, away, we go;
On our steel-bound feet we moved as fleet
As deer o’er the Lapland snow.
What though the sharp north winds are out,
The skater heeds them not;
Midst the laugh and shout of the joyous rout
Gray winter is forgot.
‘Tis a pleasant sight, the joyous throng
In the light of the reddening flame,
While with many a wheel on the ringing steel
They rage in their riotous game;
And though the night-air cutteth keen,
And the white moon shineth coldly,
Their homes I ween, on the hills have been;
They should breast the strong blast boldy.
Let others choose more gentle sports,
By the side of the winter’s hearth,
Or at the ball, or the festival,
Seek for their share of mirth;
But as for me, away, away,
Where the merry skaters be;
Where the fresh wind blows, and the smooth ice glows,
There is the place for me.
BIO: REV. EPHRAIM PEABODY was born in Wilton, New Hampshire in 1807, and educated at Bowdoin College, graduating in 1827. He became a Unitarian clergyman, and in 1846 was settled over King’s Chapel, Boston MA, where he preached acceptably for ten years. He died in 1856.