Hattie Howard Poems >>
Tobogganing

Oh, the rare exhilaration,
  Oh, the novel delectation
   Of a ride down the slide!
  Packed like ice in zero weather,
  Pleasure-seekers close together,
   On a board as thin as wafer,
   Barely wider, scarcely safer,
  At the height of recreation
  Find a glorious inspiration,
  Ere the speedy termination
   In the snowy meadow wide,
   Sloping to the river's side.

  Oh, such quakers we begin it,
   Timorous of the icy route!
  But to learn in half a minute
  What felicity is in it,
   As we shoot down the chute,
   Smothered in toboggan suit,
   Redingote or roquelaure,
   Buttoned up (and down) before,
  Mittens, cap, and moccasin,
  Just the garb to revel in;
   So, the signal given, lo!
   Over solid ice and snow,
   Down the narrow gauge we go
  Swifter than a bird o'erhead,
  Swifter than an arrow sped
   From the staunchest, strongest bow.

  Oh, it beats all "Copenhagen,"
   Silly lovers' paradise!
  Like the frozen Androscoggin,
   Slippery, and smooth, and nice,
  Is the track of the toboggan;
  And there's nothing cheap about it,
  Everything is steep about it,
  The insolvent weep about it,
   For the biggest thing on ice
   Is its tip-top price;
  But were this three times the money,
  Then the game were thrice as funny.

  Ye who dwell in latitudes
  Where "the blizzard" ne'er intrudes,
   And the water seldom freezes;
  Ye of balmy Southern regions,
  Alabama's languid legions,
   From the "hot blast" of your breezes,
   Where the verdure of the trees is
   Limp, and loose, and pitiful,
   Come up here where branches bare
   Stand like spikes in frosty air;
  Come up here where arctic rigor
  Shall restore your bloom and vigor,
   Making life enjoyable;
  Come and take a jog on
  The unparalleled toboggan!
   Such the zest that he who misses
   Never knows what perfect bliss is.
   So the sport, the day's sensation,
   Thrills and recreates creation.