Winter has come; and tardily
Now little nipping winds are rife
Where laggard leaves, on many a tree,
Still cling tenaciously to life.
Spent Autumn with a myriad hues
Had laughed at death and mocked the worm.
And now bluff Winter shouts glad news
Of Winter joys, which I refuse,
I simply sit and squirm.

For Winter, too, holds many joys,
Pert flappers, furred to ears and chin,
With painted lips, to lure the boys,
And hose that lets the breezes in
Go laughing by . . . A gladness cleaves
E'en to yon toiler, who with firm,
Swift strokes, sweeps up the fallen leaves
And, working, whistles. . . . No Man grieves
Save I who sit and squirm.

He whistles on in merry mood,
And sweeps, and sweeps along the street.
'How like all futile life,' I brood.
Nought but frustration, death, defeat.
For as he sweeps, poor toiling hack
Sweeps up dead leaf and deadly germ,
Rude winds arise and sweep them back,
And all's to do again! Alack!
I sit, and sneer, and squirm.

I squirm to hear the football fans'
Impassioned cry of 'On the ball!'
Lure of the links, the punter's plans
I squirm, I squirm, and scorn them all,
I squirm while thrushes, fluting free,
Shout triumph over clammy care....
Ah, laggard leaf upon the tree,
Squirm on, and join my thenody;
For Winter's only gift to me
Is woollen underwear.

More verses by Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

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