Poetry of Joyce Kilmer
Trees and Other Poems

Alarm Clocks

When Dawn strides out to wake a dewy farm
 Across green fields and yellow hills of hay
 The little twittering birds laugh in his way
And poise triumphant on his shining arm.
He bears a sword of flame but not to harm
 The wakened life that feels his quickening sway
 And barnyard voices shrilling "It is day!"
Take by his grace a new and alien charm.

But in the city, like a wounded thing
 That limps to cover from the angry chase,
He steals down streets where sickly arc-lights sing,
 And wanly mock his young and shameful face;
And tiny gongs with cruel fervor ring
 In many a high and dreary sleeping place.