06 November 2013

The Robin's Protest - An 1874 Poem

"As idle as the birds," you say
Ah, much you know about it!
We're busy all the livelong day;
We can't get on without it.
"It isn't much to build a nest!"
Well, then, suppose you try it;
Just work a week, and do your best —
There'd not a bird come nigh it.
You don't know where to find nice things.
Not how to weave them nicely,
And fix the sticks and straws and strings,
Each in its place precisely.
You can't accomplish that small task
With twenty times our labor;
Then don't be hard — that's all I ask —
Upon your little neighbor.
While wife is sitting, through the day
You'll hear my music ringing;
She'd tire to death, I've heard her say,
If 'twere not for my singing.
And when the little ones have come,
I help about the worming;
Each day full fifty we bring home,
And never mind their squirming.
I fill one mouth, and then away
As fast as I can scurry,
With voices in my ear that say,
"Oh, father, hurry, hurry!"
Then, just before they're taking wing,
I must keep close behind them;
I would be such a dreadful thing
If some bad cat should find them!
There is the twilight concert too,
And that must be attended,
And now, it must be clear to you
Our cares are never ended,
For thus we work the livelong day —
You can't pretend to doubt it —
You see there is no other way!
And that is all about it.
April 22, 1874. Juniata Sentinel and Republican 28(16): 1.