December 26, 2011

Field: the bliss of one sweet kiss

St. Louis-born poet and humorist Eugene Field dated his poem "A Song for the Christmas Wind" as December 26, 1885. In it, he personifies a gust of wind as it travels (the only indication it is Christmas is in the title):

As on my roving way I go
   Beneath the starlight's gleaming,
Upon a bank of feathery snow
   I find a moonbeam dreaming;
I crouch beside the pretty miss
   And cautiously I give her
My gentlest, tend'rest little kiss,
   And frown to see her shiver.
            Oho! Oho!
            On bed of snow
Beneath the starlight's gleaming,
            I steal the bliss
            Of one sweet kiss
From that fair friend a-dreaming.

I scamper up the gloomy street
   With wild, hilarious shrieking,
And each rheumatic sign I meet
   I set forthwith to creaking;
The sooty chimneys wheeze and sigh
   In dismal apprehension,
And when the rich man passes by
   I pay him marked attention.
            Oho! Oho!
            With gusts of snow
I love to pelt and blind him;
            But I kiss the curls
            Of the beggar-girls
Who crouch in the dark behind him.

In summer-time a posy fair
   Bloomed on the distant heather,
And every day we prattled there
   And sang our songs together;
And thither, as we sang or told
   Of love's unchanging glory,
A maiden and her lover strolled,
   Repeating our sweet story.
            "Oho! Oho!"
            We murmur low—
The maid and I, together;
            For summer 's sped
            And love is dead
Upon the distant heather.

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