Thursday, 8 June 2017

The Song Sparrow

Bird of the door-side, warbling clear,
In the sprouting or fading year!
Well art thou named from thy own sweet lay,
Piped from paling or naked spray,
As the smile of the sun breaks through
Chill gray clouds that curtain the blue.
Even when February bleak
Smites with his sleet the traveller's cheek,
While the air has no touch of spring,
Bird of promise! we hear thee sing.
Long ere the first blossom wakes,
Long ere the earliest leaf-bud breaks.
April passes and May steals by;
June leads in the sultry July;
Sweet are the wood-notes, loud and sweet,
Poured from the robin's and hang-bird's seat;
Thou, as the green months glide away,
Singest with them as gayly as they.
August comes, and the melon and maize
Bask and swell in a fiery blaze;
Swallows gather, and, southward bound,
Wheel, like a whirl-blast, round and round;
Thrush and robin their songs forget;
Thou art cheerfully warbling yet.
Later still, when the sumach spray
Reddens to crimson, day by day;
When in the orchard, one by one,
Apples drop in the ripening sun,
They who pile them beneath the trees
Hear thy lay in the autumn breeze.
Comes November, sullen and grim,
Spangling with frost the rivulet's brim,
Harsh, hoarse winds from the woodlands tear
Each brown leaf that is clinging there.
Still thou singest, amid the blast,
"Soon is the dreariest season past."
Only when Christmas snow-storms make
Smooth white levels of river and lake,
Sifting the light flakes all day long,
Only then do we miss thy song;
Sure to hear it again when soon
Climbs the sun to a higher noon.
Now, when tidings that make men pale —
Tidings of slaughter — load the gale;
While, from the distant camp, there come
Boom of cannon and roll of drum,
Still thou singest, beside my door,
"Soon is the stormiest season o'er."
Ever thus sing cheerfully on,
Bird of Hope! as in ages gone;
Sing of spring-time and summer-shades,
Autumn's pomp when the summer fades,
Storms that fly from the conquering sun,
Peace by enduring valor won.
by William Cullen Bryant
Art Cindy Grundston

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