06 November 2013

To Elene - An 1848 Plaint

There is a deal of philosophy in this quaint plaint, from somebody who has discovered the difference between fair weather and foul weather friends. It smacks of experience. The conceit of the birds that don't winter is exquisite. — N.Y. Express.

I say not that "winter birds" are rare,
But that I as yet, have never one seen,
Tho' I've sought one long both here and three,
I never have caught one! hast thou, Elene?
Some have I caught, wore their plumage, 'tis true,
And I thro' the summer deceived have been,
But with winter's first blasts away they flew;
They were not true "snow birds," Elene.
I've sought not alone in crowded halls,
But in quiet nooks and vallies I've been,
I've sought where the brooklet murmuring falls,
But I've found not the bird that would winter, Elene!
Yet never have I mistrustful been known,
But always too open, too fresh, have I been,
To false friends too often my best feelings shown, —
Till I proved them the basest of ingrates, Elene!
My search for this bird so fruitless has been,
So many false, fickle, and heartless I've seen,
The should they all fly from this cold world of sin,
I'm sure I'd not blame them, would'st thou fair Elene!
June 6, 1848. Middlebury Galaxy 13(6): 1.