Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE BAT, by JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE BAT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Thou dread, uncanny thing
Last Line: Grate not thy teeth at me!
Alternate Author Name(s): Johnson Of Boone, Benj. F.
Subject(s): Animals; Bats; Night; Witchcraft & Witches; Bedtime


I

THOU dread, uncanny thing,
With fuzzy breast and leathern wing,
In mad, zigzagging flight,
Notching the dusk, and buffeting
The black cheeks of the night,
With grim delight!

II

What witch's hand unhasps
Thy keen claw-cornered wings
From under the barn roof, and flings
Thee forth, with chattering gasps,
To scud the air,
And nip the ladybug, and tear
Her children's hearts out unaware?

III

The glowworm's glimmer, and the bright,
Sad pulsings of the firefly's light,
Are banquet lights to thee.
O less than bird, and worse than beast,
Thou Devil's self, or brat, at least,
Grate not thy teeth at me!





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