How sad it is to ail in the spring,
To feel amid the blooming your decline,
To feel a shiver rattle down your spine
While sunshine pours and singing birds take wing.
Sickness should be a frigid, winter thing,—
A quarantined repose of cold repine
That’s bordered on both sides, with strict confine,
By fresh delight and wealthy harvesting;
For sickness fits in spring like rain in shine.
And never more does sickness have a sting
Than when all nature seems to bloom and sing
With such a cheer as seems a joy divine.
And never more does care to illness cling
Than when the bloom is fresh upon the vine.
Like to the bird that singeth
To woo a lusty make,
I sing; and yet it bringeth
Upon my throat an ache.
For one who cannot hear me
Is one for whom I sing:
I sing for one not near me
Of loneliness and spring.
Attentive student of the songs of birds,
No beakèd beast hath e'er more sweetly trill'd
A pair of notes or call'd in major thirds
Or minor with musicality more skill'd.
Adaptive linguist, practic'd in the tongue
Of wingèd feather'd creatures, thou hast writ
Into "The Birdsong Songbook" songs unsung
By birds which yet harmoniously fit.
And though the book began in higher throats
Diversely tun'd by Nature's artful hand
Ere measur'd were the times and tones of notes,
(Which often rest them now upon a stand),
Its finest lines (o'er which I now do rave)
Witness thy penmanship on every stave.
Perfume the breeze,
And chirps and trills
Concert the trees,
And nectar spills
From mouths of bees,
I find my thrills,
My fun, my ease.
And though it ills
I rather please
To take green hills
No thanks: I’ll sneeze.
In semitones it sang its morning song:
With perfect intonation did it sound
Each pitch-pure shaft of tone to richly confound
The staccato, choppy, chirpy, cheepy throng.
After this phrase of notes sung clear and strong,
A cadence-closing burst of trill unwound,
Shaken out taut and cinching, fast and round,
That lasted to the pure tones doubly long.
More beautiful singing I have never heard,
And yet was I inclined to doubt its worth.
I silenced my mind and listened to the earth,
And this was in the singing of the bird:
If all the world will be the way it is,
Be thankful for the bird that sings like this.
A dandelion-yellow chick
Lately has lost her smooth white cap
With edges chipped out tap by tap
And peck by peck and tick by tick.
She moves with careful steps between
Her mother's not-too-careful strides,
And with a careless foot collides,
And falls (kerplunk!) sans any teen.
Today as small as a mother wren,
She'll soon outsize a mother dove,
Then shortly after will she prove
A natural mother,—a mother hen.
Give 'em a try, and feel the rush!
Virility and skittish flight
Are pent up in their potent taste—
Like a billion bunnies in a bite!