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Alms

by
 My heart is what it was before,
A house where people come and go;
But it is winter with your love,
The sashes are beset with snow.
I light the lamp and lay the cloth, I blow the coals to blaze again; But it is winter with your love, The frost is thick upon the pane.
.
I know a winter when it comes: The leaves are listless on the boughs; I watched your love a little while, And brought my plants into the house.
I water them and turn them south, I snap the dead brown from the stem; But it is winter with your love, I only tend and water them.
There was a time I stood and watched The small, ill-natured sparrows' fray; I loved the beggar that I fed, I cared for what he had to say, I stood and watched him out of sight: Today I reach around the door And set a bowl upon the step; My heart is what it was before, But it is winter with your love; I scatter crumbs upon the sill, And close the window, —and the birds May take or leave them, as they will.

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