Sunday, February 8, 2015

Country Boy Sliding / Robert P.T. Coffin

Country Boy Sliding

On all the white miles of fine snow
Between high sprucewoods and the bay
There was only one living thing,
A farm boy at his Winter play.

He pulled his new sled up the hill,
Lifted it without a smile,
Ran, and threw himself on it
And soberly hurtled half a mile.

He rose and dusted diamonds off
His scarf and breeches, took the rope
And drew his sled with lonely eyes
Up the long hill's lonely slope.

The slider took his pleasure deep
As quiet country people do,
Without lost motion or a sound
Through sober loveliness he flew.

In crystal beauty like a trance
This was all there was of joy
To point the world-wide stillness up,
A rapt unsmiling little boy.

The rabbits sat along the swamp,
Each on his cushion there behind,
They watched with grave approval this
Pleasure so of their own kind.

The little boy made an intense
Business of his Winter fun
Until the spruces swallowed up
The golden cartwheel of the sun.

Then on short legs he took home,
Without a whistle, by deep starlight,
A joy as deep in him for good
As a strong man's wedding night.

Robert P.T. Coffin (1892-1955)
from Apples by Ocean, 1950

[Poem is in the public domain in Canada]

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