The Old Clock

A poem by John Charles McNeill

All day low clouds and slanting rain
Have swept the woods and dimmed the plain.
Wet winds have swayed the birch and oak,
And caught and swirled away the smoke,
But, all day long, the wooden clock
Went on, Nic-noc, nic-noc.

When deep at night I wake with fear,
And shudder in the dark to hear
The roaring storm's unguided strength,
Peace steals into my heart at length,
When, calm amid the shout and shock,
I hear, Nic-noc, nic-noc.

And all the winter long 't is I
Who bless its sheer monotony--
Its scorn of days, which cares no whit
For time, except to measure it:
The prosy, dozy, cosy clock,
Nic-noc, nic-noc, nic-noc!

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