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Winter Fancies
James Whitcomb Riley

Winter without
   And warmth within;
The winds may shout
   And the storm begin;
The snows may pack
   At the window pane,
And the skies grow black,
   And the sun remain
Hidden away
   The livelong day –
But here – in here is the warmth of May!

Swoop your spitefullest
   Up the flue,
   Wild Winds – do!
What in the world do I care for you?
O delightfullest
   Weather of all,
   Howl and squall,
And shake the trees till the last leaves fall!

The joy one feels,
   In an easy chair,
Cocking his heels
   In the dancing air
That wreathes the rim of a roaring stove
Whose heat loves better than hearts can love,
   Will not permit
      The coldest day
         To drive away
The fire in his blood, and the bliss of it!

Then blow, Winds, blow!
   And rave and shriek,
And snarl and snow
   Till your breath grows weak –
While here in my room
   I'm as snugly shut
As a glad little worm
   In the heart of a nut!

This poem is in the public domain.

James Whitcomb Riley (1849 - 1916) was an American poet best known for his children's poems and dialect-based verses. James was born in Greenfield, Indiana, and later moved to Indianapolis; homes in both cities are preserved and open to the public today. James was hugely popular during his lifetime. A bestselling author who traveled the country speaking to sell-out crowds, he never married or had children of his own, but he loved children and they loved him back. When he died, more than 35,000 people came to pay their respects as James lay in state under the Indiana capitol dome.  



Post New Comment:
Great opening couplet, like a topic sentence but with poetry.
Posted 12/23/2013 08:38 AM
Larry Schug:
It is way below zero at our house this morning. I believe I'll hang out with the wood stove and absorb some of that "whose heat loves better than hearts can love". Right on, J. W. R.!
Posted 12/23/2013 07:34 AM

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