A Hillside Thaw
To think to know the country and now know The hillside on the day the sun lets go Ten million silver lizards out of snow! As often as I’ve seen it done before I can’t pretend to tell the way it’s done. It looks as if some magic of the sun Lifted the rug that bred them on the floor And the light breaking on them made them run. But if I though to stop the wet stampede, And caught one silver lizard by the tail, And put my foot on one without avail, And threw myself wet-elbowed and wet-kneed In front of twenty others’ wriggling speed,- In the confusion of them all aglitter, And birds that joined in the excited fun By doubling and redoubling song and twitter, I have no doubt I’d end by holding none. It takes the moon for this. The sun’s a wizard By all I tell; but so’s the moon a witch. From the high west she makes a gentle cast And suddenly, without a jerk or twitch, She has her speel on every single lizard. I fancied when I looked at six o’clock The swarm still ran and scuttled just as fast. The moon was waiting for her chill effect. I looked at nine: the swarm was turned to rock In every lifelike posture of the swarm, Transfixed on mountain slopes almost erect. Across each other and side by side they lay. The spell that so could hold them as they were Was wrought through trees without a breath of storm To make a leaf, if there had been one, stir. One lizard at the end of every ray. The thought of my attempting such a stray!