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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
ake 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!