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a Cup Of Tea




From St. Nicholas, December, 1899.

Now Grietje from her window sees the leafless poplars lean
Against a windy sunset sky with streaks of golden green;
The still canal is touched with light from that wild, wintry sky,
And, dark and gaunt, the windmill flings its bony arms on high.
It's growing late; it's growing cold; I'm all alone, says she;
I'll put the little kettle on, to make a cup of tea!

Mild radiance from the porcelain stove reflects on shining tiles;
The kettle beams, so red and bright that Grietje thinks it smiles;
The kettle sings--so soft and low it seems as in a dream--
The song that's like a lullaby, the pleasant song of steam:
The summer's gone; the storks are flown; I'm always here, you see,
To sing and sing, and shine, and shine, and make a cup of tea!

The blue delft plates and dishes gleam, all ranged upon the shelf;
The tall Dutch clock tick-ticks away, just talking to itself;
The brindled pussy cuddles down, and basks and blinks and purrs;
And rosy, sleepy Grietje droops that snow-white cap of hers.
I do like winter after all; I'm very glad, says she,
I put--my--little--kettle--on--to make--a cup--of--tea!
--HELEN GRAY CONE.






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