by James Whitcomb Riley
'Twas but a hint of Spring—for
The atmosphere was sharp and chill
Save where the genial sunshine smote
The shoulders of my overcoat,
And o'er the snow beneath my feet
Laid spectral fences down the street.
My shadow, even, seemed to be
Elate with some new buoyancy,
And bowed and bobbed in my advance
With trippingest extravagance,
And, when the birds chirpt out some-
It seemed to wheel with me and stare.
Above I heard a rasping stir—
And on a roof the carpenter
Was perched, and prodding rusty
From out the choked and dripping
And some one, hammering about,
Was taking all the windows out.
Old scraps of shingles fell before
The noisy mansion's open door;
And wrangling children raked the yard,
And labored much, and laughed as
And fired the burning trash I smelt
And sniffed again—so good I felt!