07 August 2013

The Blue Bird - A Poem From 1863

Know ye a note in all the year
So pleasant as the blue bird's song.
When some bright morning, calm and clear
He greets us as he flits along? —
Or, as on some tall tree he rests.
And warbles forth his clear wild notes,
So startling and so sweet, as blest
While on the air his music floats?
Yet blessing more, the woodman strong
Welcomes him with his upturned eyes,
As brighter visions swiftly throng
Before him at the glad surprise :
Visions of longer, brighter days;
Of buds, and flowers, and leafy grove,
Where many joyous roundelays
Proclaim the almighty power of love.
Herald of spring, we welcome thee:
The first of all returned to make
Our forests vocal — would that we
Thus by the forelock time might take :
For precious moments quickly pass.
And seasons swiftly glide along
Unmarked as grows the humble grass.
And transient as the wild-birds song.
"Up, and be doing!" we will take
The lesson thou so well dost teach,
And in our duties strive to make
Sweet music, though we may not reach
Thy joyous heights, yet we may bear
Thy happy spirit in our hearts,
And from the clouded brow of care
Disperse the footprints and the darts.
Still warble on, sweet bird, thy song
Inspires me more than many lays :
Still let it float our woods among,
The prophecy of brighter days.
And when from every tree and bush
Thy brother songsters fill the air,
Let thy sweet voice be heard at blush
Of morning, and at evening fair;
For midst them all no sweeter tone
Floats upward than thy gentle song,
And I would give to thee thy own
Full share of praise our birds among!
May 6, 1863. Raftsman's Journal 9(36): 1.