06 November 2013

To the First Blue-bird of Spring

Sweet prophet of the early spring,
That from the leafless spray,
Or, poised on light and fluttering wing,
Dost pour they tuneful lay,
Like a pure blessing on the air,
A voice of hope, and love,
So sweet, it seems this sunny morn
Thy flight was from above!
I love thee, bright and gentle bird,
That thou hast, far away,
Left scenes of never-fading bloom,
All beautiful to-day,
To sing from yonder leafless bough,
Of summer joys to me,
And light the cold and dreary North
With Spring's sweet prophesy!
'Tis better, thus to sing, sweet bird,
To other hearts than thine,
Of coming beauty, than to stay
Where fullest glories shine.
And thou hast learned, in some far sky,
That sentiment of heaven,
"Tis better to bestow a bliss,
Than taste of blessings given."
How many a care-worn heart will feel
A thrill of joy to-day,
Touched by they simple melody,
Which charmeth care away!
How many a heavy step grow light,
And sad eye re-illume,
And stern lip smile, and brow grow bright,
Beguiled of grief and gloom!
So sweet the feelings in my breast,
Awoke this balmy morn,
By sky, and earth, and thy blythe note
On gentle breezes borne,
I fain would sing, like thee, a song,
That gushes in my heart,
A joyous idol of the May,
Whose harbinger thou art.
June 4, 1857. McArthur Democrat 5(42): 1. Also May 9, 1863 in the Columbia Democrat and Bloomsburg General Advertiser 17(10): 1.