06 November 2013

The Snow Bird - An 1869 Poem

By Augusta Moore.
Where doth the Snow Bird sleep?
The stormy Winter's night comes on apace,
Thick falls the snow — knows it a sheltered place
Where it can snugly creep.
And, safe and warm, the dusky pinions fold!
Where doth He hide His Snow-Birds from the cold!
All day the dark-winged flock
About my window, hopping, chirping, come
Asking of Tinylu a seed, a crumb
From his abundant stock.
The yellow, pampered captives from the Isles,
Where summer with perpetual verdure smiles,
Welcomes these wanderers through the Winter's storm,
And fain would share with him his shelter warm
With small, faint song,
With twitter, and with low and pleasant hum,
Hungry and bold, nimble and brave they come;
Swept with the snow along.
They frolic in the snow —
And every small foot makes
In the pure covering its tiny track;
While stars and spangles deck each little back —
They frolic in the snow
That falls so thickly round
O'er all the frozen ground;
But do the gay ones know
What they this freezing night may hide away,
And all securely until morning stay!
Close to the glass they creep.
In at the panes they peep,
Holding strange Masonry with Tinylu;
And their enticing ways,
And all their antic plays,
And full in the lone captive's charmed view.
They see the shadows fall,
And to each other call,
And Tinylu replies and tries to go
Out to the harky brood,
With whom he shares his food,
The little dusky gives that haunt the snow,
Eagerly but in vain
He smiles the window pane —
Oh! foolish little Bird, where wouldst thou fly!
Thy nest is soft and warm,
Nought shall my Birdie harm,
But out in the cold snow he soon would die.
Where do the Snow Birds sleep?
Where doth He safely keep
His hardy, happy little winter sprites?
I know their haunts by day —
But see they haste away —
Where does He shelter them these stormy nights!
January 15, 1869. Fremont Weekly Journal 17(3): 1, new series.