Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO A DECEMBER GROUSE (HEARD FROM THE SMOKING ROOM), by PATRICK REGINALD CHALMERS



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

TO A DECEMBER GROUSE (HEARD FROM THE SMOKING ROOM), by            
First Line: Nay, is it now you'd have me take the hill
Last Line: Of pipes and papers and the persian kitten!
Subject(s): December; Grouse


NAY, is it now you'd have me take the hill,
Voice from the snow line, far away and mocking?
In August, well, you might have roused a thrill,
But now, when sleet showers drive and pines are rocking
In the keen north-east wind,
I find
The cheery hearth and a dry boot and stocking
More to my mind
Than the wet mountain and your wild cok-coking!

In August, yes, 'twas doubtless vastly well,
When butterflies and bees and guns together
Made holiday in dingle and in dell,
To seek you 'mid a charm of sky and weather,
With a fair interlude
For food,
In sunshine that could tan one's cheeks to leather,
Before I strewed
Again your youthful kind upon the heather!

I know the game to-day—the snow, the blast
Down which the swinging packs will whirr and whizz hard,
I'd hear your ramping pinions whistle past,
And—I should miss you, nipped of nose and gizzard,
And drain the futile dram,
And damn
The braes, the bleakness, and the brutal blizzard,
For oh, I am
A chilly thing and "meagre as a lizard"!

I come not at your challenge, haughty bird!
Let the more earnest and the harder bitten,
If they should choose to make themselves absurd,
Compass your end in mackintosh and mitten;
I find my sole desire
The fire,
And this great padded chair which now I sit on,
Nor shall I tire
Of pipes and papers and the Persian kitten!





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