Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. V. Nature
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume V. Nature.  1904.
 
III. The Seasons
December
Joel Benton (1832–1911)
 
WHEN the feud of hot and cold
    Leaves the autumn woodlands bare;
When the year is getting old,
    And flowers are dead, and keen the air;
 
When the crow has new concern,        5
    And early sounds his raucous note;
And—where the late witch-hazels burn—
    The squirrel from a chuckling throat
 
Tells that one larder’s space is filled,
    And tilts upon a towering tree;        10
And, valiant, quick, and keenly thrilled,
    Upstarts the tiny chickadee;
 
When the sun’s still shortening arc
    Too soon night’s shadows dun and gray
Brings on, and fields are drear and dark,        15
    And summer birds have flown away,—
 
I feel the year’s slow-beating heart,
    The sky’s chill prophecy I know;
And welcome the consummate art
    Which weaves this spotless shroud of snow!        20
 
 
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