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- FEBRUARY, bitter February,
- Month of hope withheld and promise vain,
- Drenching, under fickle smiles, the unwary
- Earth with devastating rain.
- Ere the limes with ruddy spear-points glimmer,
- Ere the greenness leap from bush to bush,
- While the starveling grass grows dim and dimmer,
- And the folded snowdrops push;
- Ah! be gracious, tenderly relenting,
- Take not back thy gifts with churlish hand;
- Let the breath of thy serene consenting
- Falter through the weary land.
- Rather thunder on in bleak resistance,
- Swift to spoil and rigorous to deny,
- Than as thus to veil the sullen distance
- With thy bleared and tear-stained sky.
- Arthur Christopher Benson
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