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James Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916)

                     THE BAT

    THOU dread, uncanny thing,
            With fuzzy breast and leathern wing,
        In mad, zigzagging flight,
    Notching the dusk, and buffeting
        The black cheeks of the night,
            With grim delight!


    What witch's hand unhasps
        Thy keen claw-cornered wings
        From under the barn roof, and flings
    Thee forth, with chattering gasps,
            To scud the air,
    And nip the ladybug, and tear
    Her children's hearts out unaware?


    The glowworm's glimmer, and the bright,
    Sad pulsings of the firefly's light,
        Are banquet lights to thee.
    O less than bird, and worse than beast,
    Thou Devil's self, or brat, at least,
        Grate not thy teeth at me!


The above poem can be found in:
  • Riley, James Whitcomb. The Complete Poetical Works of James Whitcomb Riley. Indianapolis, IN: Indiana University Press, 1993.