06 November 2013

To a Mocking-Bird - An 1843 Poem

Florida, March 10, 1842. For the Tribune.
Bird, that sittest on the spray
Trilling to the fadeless leaf,
Sweetest music all the day,
Breathing not a note of grief.
Welcome! thou hast touched my heart,
Tears have gathered to my eye;
Messenger of Joy thou art,
I am glad when thou art nigh.
Whence are all thy silver tones,
Tinkling like a merry bell?
Which the heart responsive owns
Sweeter than the tongue may tell?
Stealing gently o'er the soul,
Giving mirth they cannot take,
As successive ripples roil
O'er the breeze-enchanted lake?
Sing! O, do not cease thy lay!
Swell again thy tiny throat!
Tones of loved ones far away,
Dwell in every warbled note!
Tones of loved ones — will they die?
Will they cease their song as thou?
Raise again thine anthem high,
From the old oak's mossy bough.
Thanks! thy song comes sweet and clear,
Softer, gladder than before;
Thou, upon the ravished ear,
Unmixed melody dost pour.
Telling of the upper skies —
Music mortals may not hear
Unto Him as thine shall rise,
Through the never-fading year!
June 6, 1843. New York Daily Tribune 3(50): 4.