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in plain air 173
The night wind and a bough tip
Brushing the pane make a mild,
Serious, purposeless music,
O my strange human child.
Sleep, now,
Sleep in the natural dark.
meeting old mr. jim porcupine
At the reading -- somewhat country-boy,
it's just you people and me, here;
open, simple, sincere -- mind you,
clever enough never to be
anything like them. There are certain ideas
none of us would be caught dead with, which makes
our being here together -- well, pleasing.
The trouble is, I remember
how very savvy, how cagily nice
and quick on his feet the fellow was
when he stopped by to visit earlier,
though I sat there supposing it was just conversation
after a while I began to feel in my skin
the fi ne little needles of -- what's this, malice?
Friends, imagine seeing out in the woods
your ordinary old lumbering porcupine
and he commences capering around you
with, by God, the smooth quickness
of a monkey, and while you stand there gaping
he's busily fi ring his quills into you!
I know, porcupines don't do that.
But your canny, enterprising sentimentalist does.