By Lord Alfred Tennyson
O blackbird! sing me something well:
While all the neighbors shoot thee round,
I keep smooth plats of fruitful ground,
Where thou mayst warble, eat, and dwell.
The espaliers and the standards all
Are thine; the range of lawn and park;
The unnetted black-hearts ripen dark,
All thine, against the garden wall.
Yet, tho’ I spared thee all the spring,
Thy sole delight is, sitting still,
With that gold dagger of thy bill
To fret the summer jenneting.
A golden bill! the silver tongue,
Cold February loved, is dry;
Plenty corrupts the melody
That made thee famous once when young;
And in the sultry garden-squares,
Now thy flute-notes are changed to coarse,
I hear thee not at all, or hoarse
As when a hawker hawks his wares.
Take warning! he that will not sing
While yon sun prospers in the blue,
Shall sing for want, ere leaves are new,
Caught in the frozen palms of Spring.
I just saw my first robin of the season, what a cheery sight! Spring is just around the corner.
By Eliza Allen Starr
An early bird is our Robin, bold Rob,
The first of the frosty spring,
A russet blush on his rounded breast,
And sunlight tipping his wing.
With a chirp how he hops from bough to bush,
And his song how blithe and clear!
Our youngest darling knows Robin Redbreast,
The merriest bird of the year.
On the sweetbrier bush, just under the eaves,
See, Robin has built his nest;
And where is the child with hand so rude
As Robin’s home to molest?
But mamma will slide the shutter each morn
To give a glimpse, on the sly,
At the lovely blue eggs by Redbreast laid,
In the nest so snug and shy.
From the topmost bough of that lofty elm
He sings to his mate so dear,
And four little robins will Redbreast raise
To sing us sweet songs next years.
And when the four little robins are fledged,
If our own Robins are good,
They shall hear a story of Robin Redbreasts
And two dear “Babes in the Wood.”
By August Wilhelm Wern
Welcome, sweet songster; thy return
Brings gladness to my soul.
And now my heart will cease to yearn
And list to thy carol.
Thou art of nature’s orchestra–
The warbling clarinet.
At times thy songs appeal to me
Like the famous sextette,
At early dawn I hear thee call
Me oft from reverie.
Then all my being dost enthrall,
And make me worship thee.
Thy silvery voice at midnight hour
Sounds sweetly from afar,
Or from the nearby trellised bower
Illumined by moon and star.
Oh! let thy vibratory note
Blend with my love and heart,
And on ethereal waves afloat
To Her in realms apart.
Then all Her sweet celestial love
Will joyously rebound,
With angel music from above,
Her voice to me redound.