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Rocked on many a bending bough
Empty nests are swaying now
In the Autumn wind,
Hanging o'er the cool cascade,
Hidden in the hazel shade,
Nests that loving skill has made
Soon to leave behind.


From the leafy twigs around
Once was borne the joyous sound
Of the wild bird's voice,
Pouring out his little soul
In melodious notes that roll
Merrily from knoll to knoll
Bidding all rejoice.


Long ago the birds have flown
And the little nests alone,
Rocking to and fro,
Time a silent mournful strain
While the wandering winds complain
And the leaves their sad refrain
Whisper faint and low.


And I think of one lone nest
Where a birdling used to rest
In the joyous Spring,
Now when Autumn decks the lands
Rocked no more by loving hands
Lo, an empty cradle stands
Where they used to sing.