07 August 2013

Summer Friends - A Poem from 1855

By Frederic S. Cozzens.
"When spring the fields in daisies dressed,
And flushed the woods with maple buds
I spied a little blue bird's nest
Within a cedar's branchy studs.
"It's old, gray grass, inlaid with hair,
The summer's sun had withered up,
And autumn's acorns still were there,
Though snows had brimmed its tiny cup.
"What then? I heard a pilgrim hymn;
And half forgave the long neglect,
Where perched upon the threshold rim
A little feathered architect.
"And straw by straw the walls he wrought,
And hair by hair the floor he spread,
And when his blue bird wife he brought,
They slept within the nuptial bed.
"Oh, how I loved my praenomen guest!
For him I loved his help-mate too;
With jealous care I fenced their nest,
And watched them as they sang or flew.
"So April passed, and gentle May
Went murmuring by with leaves and bees,
And two small blue-winged chicks had they
When summer broadened on the tree.
"My very solitude had made
That tiny household seem more sweet;
And often in the bank I strayed
To watch the nestlings chirp and eat.
"But when the paleted autumn came,
And shook the boughs, and bared the wood,
I scarce the feathered brood could blame,
Though void their puny wigwam stood;
"For summer friends had come like these,
Like these the summer friends had flown;
When stormy winter stripped the trees,
They left the cold and me alone."
February 3, 1855. Washington D.C. Evening Star 5(651): 1.