Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, MIRTH, by EDITH COURTENAY BABBITT



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MIRTH, by            
First Line: I walked, one winter day
Last Line: Of winter sun and bird at play.
Subject(s): Chickadees; Walking; Winter


I walked, one winter day,
Along a quiet country way.

The snow was like a cloak laid down
For fairy folk to walk upon,
A mantle glistening with gems,
And all the trees wore diadems.

The light snow crunched beneath my feet
In measured music, sharp and sweet.

The air was white, a quiver filled
With tiny darts of sleet distilled.

There is a Viking-joy none knows
More vividly than one who goes
Into the frozen tang of day
Along a quiet country way.

The silence was so vast no man
Could tell its end, where it began.

Suddenly, I was aware
Of a delightful comrade there.

A chickadee had lighted on
A patch of ice spread in the sun,
And from his muffled throat broke mirth
That filled the sky, the listening earth.

He ran and slid and like a boy
He screamed and laughed in new-found joy.

He reached the rim -- within a trice
Was back upon his lake of ice.

He had no fear of me at all;
Not one companion heard his call.

I watched him, half an hour or more,
Skate gaily thus from shore to shore,
Before I left him, sliding still,
His laughter rippling down the hill.

I know serene Saint Francis would
Have loved him, too, if he had stood
As I, against the fence, that day
Of winter sun and bird at play.





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