Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE COMING OF PHOEBE, by JOHN BURROUGHS



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THE COMING OF PHOEBE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: When buckets shine 'gainst maple trees
Last Line: While smoking dick doth boil the sap.
Subject(s): Phoebe (bird)


When buckets shine 'gainst maple trees
And drop by drop the sap doth flow,
When days are warm, but nights do freeze,
And deep in woods lie drifts of snow,
When cattle low and fret in stall,
Then morning brings the phoebe's call,
"Phoebe,
Phoebe, phoebe," a cheery note,
While cackling hens make such a rout.

When snow banks run, and hills are bare,
And early bees hum round the hive,
When woodchucks creep from out their lair
Right glad to find themselves alive,
When sheep go nibbling through the fields,
Then Phoebe oft her name reveals,
"Phoebe,
Phoebe, phoebe," a plaintive cry,
While jacksnipes call in morning sky.

When wild ducks quack in creek and pond
And bluebirds perch on mullein-stalks,
When spring has burst her icy bond
And in brown fields the sleek crow walks,
When chipmunks court in roadside walls,
Then phoebe from the ridge-board calls,
"Phoebe,
Phoebe, phoebe," and lifts her cap,
While smoking Dick doth boil the sap.





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