Afoot and light-hearted
I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me
The long brown path before me
Leading me where I choose,
Strong and content I travel the open road.
There is ever a song somewhere, my dear
Be the skies above or dark or fair,
There is ever a song that our hearts may hear --
There is ever a song somewhere.
|-- James Whitcomb Riley|
I see my way as birds their trackless way.
I shall arrive, -- what time, what circuit first,
I ask not; but unless God send his hail
Or blinding fire-balls, sleet, or stifling snow,
In some time, His good time, I shall arrive;
He guides me and the bird. In His good time.
I heard the woodpecker pecking,
The bluebird tenderly sing;
I turned and looked out of the window,
And lo, it was Spring.
Which ever way the wind doth blow,
Some heart is glad to have it so;
Then blow it east or blow it west,
The wind that blows, that wind is best.
March! march! march! They are coming,
In troops to the tune of the wind:
Red-headed woodpeckers drumming,
Gold-crested thrushes behind,
Sparrows in brown jackets hopping
Past every gateway and door;
Finches with crimson caps stopping
Just where they stopped years before.
Under a budding hedge I hid
while April rain went by
But little raindrops came slipping through,
fresh from a laughing sky;
A-many little scurrying drops,
laughing the song they sing
Soon found me where I sought to hide,
and pelted me with Spring
|-- O. Sheet|
It is the first mild day of March;
Each minute sweeter than before,
The redbreast sings from the tall larch
That stands beside our door.
Love, now a universal birth,
From heart to heart is stealing,
From earth to man, from man to earth:
-- It is the hour of feeling.
The children whirl around in a ring,
And laugh and sing, and dance and sing;
But the blackbird whistles clear, O clear:
The Spring, the Spring!
A seed we say is a simple thing,
The germ of a flower or weed, --
But all earth's workmen, laboring
With all the help that wealth could bring,
Never could make a seed.
There is no glory in star or blossom
'Til looked upon by a loving eye;
There is no fragrance in April breezes
'Til breathed with joy as they wander by.
Thou art a nursling of the air,
No earthly food makes up thy fare
But soaring things, both frail and rare,
Fit diet of a fairy.
The pussy-cat bird has the blackest of the bills,
With which she makes all her trebles and trills;
She can mimic a robin or sing like a wren,
And I truly believe she can cluck like a hen;
And sometimes you dream that her song is a word,
Then quickly again -- she's a pussy-cat bird.
The pussy-cat bird wears a gown like a nun,
But she's a chirk as a squirrel and chock-full of fun,
She lives in a house upon Evergreen Lane, --
A snug little house, although modest and plain;
And never a puss that was happier purred
Than the feathered and winged little pussy-cat bird.
Sparrows far off, and nearer, April's bird,
Blue-coated, -- flying before from tree to tree,
Courageous sing a delicate overture
To lead the tardy concert of the year.
The graceful columbine, all blushing red,
Bends to the earth her crown
Of honey laden bells.
So dainty in plumage and hue,
a study in gray and brown;
How little, how little we know
the pest he would prove to the town.
From dawn until daylight grows dim,
perpetual chatter and scold.
No winter migration for him --
not even afraid of the cold!
Scarce a song bird he fails to molest,
belligerent, meddlesome thing;
Wherever he goes as a guest,
he is sure to remain as a king.
May is building her house. From the dust of things
She is making the songs and the flowers and the wings;
From October's tossed and trodden gold
She is making the young near out of the old;
She is making all the summer sweet,
And the brown leaves spurned of November's feet
She is changing back again to spring's.
|-- Richard Le Gallienne|
Every tongue of Nature sings;
The air is palpitant with wings.
Soft and low the song began:
I scarcely caught it as it was ran
Through the melancholy trill
of the plaintive whip-poor-will,
Through the ringdove's gentle wail,
chattering jay and whistling quail
Sparrow's twitter, catbird's cry,
redbird's whistle, robin's sigh;
Blackbird, bluebird, swallow, lark;
each his native note might mark.
Oft he tried the lesson o'er,
each time louder than before;
Burst at length the finished song,
loud and clear it poured along.
An arrow, feathery, alive, he darts and sings, --
Then with a sudden skimming
dive of striped wings
He finds a pine and, debonair,
makes with his mate
All birds that ever rested there articulate;
The whisper of a multitude of happy wings
Is 'round him, a returning brood,
each time he sings.
Though heaven be not for them or him,
yet he is wise,
And daily tiptoes on the rim of Paradise.