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Ella Wheeler Wilcox

(5 November 1850 - 30 October 1919 / Johnstown Center / Rock County / Wisconsin)

The Hammock's Complaint


Who thinks how desolate and strange
To me must seem the autumn's change,
When housed in attic or in chest,
A lonely and unwilling guest,
I lie through nights of bleak December,
And think in silence, and remember.

I think of hempen fields, where I
Once played with insects floating by,
And joyed alike in sun and rain,
Unconscious of approaching pain.
I dwell upon my later lot,
Where, swung in some secluded spot
Between two tried and trusted trees,
All summer long I wooed the breeze.
With song of bee and call of bird
And lover's secrets overheard,
And sight and scent of blooming flowers,
To fill the happy sunlight's hours.
When verdant fields grow bare and brown,
When forest leaves come raining down,
When frost has mated with the weather
And all the birds go south together,
When drying boats turn up their keels,
Who wonders how the hammock feels?

Submitted: Wednesday, June 04, 2003

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