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Fair is the sky, for the cloud-rack is lifted--
Bright will the day be, though dark was the morn;
Warm was the morn, but the strong wind has shifted
Into the north--where the blizzards are born.
White coward mercury goes down to zero--
Darting about flies a veteran jay,
Braving the breeze, like a blue-coated hero--
Seeking his supper, I venture to say.


Neighbors pass hurriedly, mantled and muffled--
Great coats, and seal-skins, to keep out the storm--
Plump little quail, with their plumage beruffled,
Search in the hedge for a nook that is warm.
That latest blast from the boreal bellows,
Drifted some snow-birds the garden below;
Always their coming, the wise-acres tell us,
Tokens cold weather, and flurries of snow.


Warm sheltered corners the cattle have chosen,
Shivers the pine in its evergreen leaves;
Pools by the roadside in wrinkles are frozen--
Bayonet icicles hang from the eaves.
Five English sparrows, defying the weather,
There in the pathway a conference hold;
Ho! merry midgets in doublets of feathers!
Why do you rally out there in the cold?


Little you care for the riot and rattle--
Little you heed--let the mercury fall!
Brave little fighters, go on with your battle--
Here is a friend who will welcome you all!
Fly to my window--I'll feed every comer--
Hail to the comrades that constancy show
Loving and loyal, in winter and summer--
With us, alike, in the heat and the snow!