Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TIMID THINGS, by JOHN HAMPTON ATKINSON



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TIMID THINGS, by            
First Line: In elfish dream I hold discourse with ghosts
Last Line: "and leave the goats to butt their enemies."


In elfish dream I hold discourse with ghosts
And voiceless trees and feathered folks. And hosts
Of mute and timid things beneath the skies
Unfold a thrifty turn before my eyes:
The felted beaver, ever out of reach,
Lithe squirrel softly sliding round a beach,
The furry otter or the velvet mole
Or wary chipmunk peeping from his hole,
A colt betwixt a nubbin and his fear,
The fawn behind its mother, trailing near.

The antelope, alert to lurking foes,
Turns on me ear and eye and pointed nose.
While fascination holds it in its track,
A fearsome ripple runs along its back,
The glow of fear and wonder in its eyes
Like silken gloss of spangled butterflies.
A play upon my banter, "Why so fleet?"
Then vibrates back as if on winged feet:
"To skim the hedges, clear the dank coulees,
And leave the goats to butt their enemies."





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