A Hint of Spring
‘Twas but a hint of Spring—for still
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 somewhere,
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 leaves
From out the choked and dripping eaves—
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 hard,
And fired the burning trash I smelt
And sniffed again—so good I felt!
– James Whitcomb Riley