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What are you singing my beautiful bird?
What are the words of your song?
How can you carol when always denied
The freedom for which you must long?


Once, where the wild roses blushing at morn
Grew pale at the sunset's first glow;
Hidden from sight by a cool, leafy screen,
Your little nest swung to and fro.


There your bright eyes first awoke to the light,
And your restless wings scarcely could wait;
So eager to try in the great outside world,
Their portion of fortune or fate.


But long ere your delicate velvety wings
Were penciled with faint lines of blue;
With the first eager taste of sweet freedom's delight,
A prison stood ready for you.


Have you forgotten the shadowy trees,
With the lily-bells nodding below?
Have you forgotten the rocky hill-side,
Where the wood-pinks and buttercups grow?


There I too, wandered, unfettered and free,
Ere my prison doors hid them from sight;
I too, am longing to see them again
Aglow in the sun's golden light.


For I am a prisoner, too, beautiful bird,
Shut in from the beauties I love;
Shut in from the blossoms and verdure beneath,
And the blue of the cloud-lands above.


O teach me, sweet singer, your pure, artless song,
That I may your happiness share;
And forget in the joy of a rapture like them,
The phantoms of hope and despair!