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O lark, whose joyous warbling comes
Across the flowery field to me;
O red-winged leaders of the gay
And music-gifted company
Who gave the Spring's first matinee,
The blackbirds' jubilee.


O swallows, perching on the eaves
Or circling in the air;
O linnets, chirping in the vines
Where wild rose coyly intervines
With virgin's bower and wild woodbines
That clamber, here and there.


O ruby-throated humming-birds,
That gem the sunbeam's gold;
Perching, your ditty to repeat,
Tasting the honey-suckle sweet
Or whirring near my cloistered seat,
Half timorous and half bold.


No nightingale pours forth at eve
His famous solo here.
No sky-lark soars to yonder sky
To carol Nature's praise on high
Or gush his heaven-born rhapsody
From fields of upper air.


Not unto these, for whom the bard
His richest number lends;
But unto you, who build and brood
By yonder stream, in yonder wood,
Companions of my solitude,
My little feathered friends.


To you I sing, though others may
Their far-famed gifts rehearse
And sing of sky-larks on the wing
Where none were ever heard to sing;
And nightingales, triumphant bring
To grace their native verse.


Doubtless the Scottish poet finds
In these a lasting joy.
He loves his own green spot of earth,
Of heath-clad hill and foaming firth;
But holds not our broad land enough
Our homage to employ.


Ye golden warblers, darting now,
Through peach-bloom canopies;
Ye orioles, who seek the grove
To sing the sonnets of your love,
In joyous warblings, interwove
With softest melodies.


Ye wild canaries, caroling
Beneath the alders' shade;
Ye sprightly grosbeaks, whose rich lay
From apple-boughs at close of day,
When sauntering on my homeward way,
My willing feet have stayed.


And last, but loveliest of them all,
In fields, or woods, or dales,
The shy lazuli-finch, whose song
Is borne the forest aisles along,
Woodsy and wild, to you belong
Wild hills and wooded vales.


And many another chorister
That time would fail to tell,
Who helps to make the woods resound
With bursts of rich melodious sound
That answering echoes from around
To one grand chorus swell.


Long may your notes of blithesome cheer
The rounds of life beguile.
Long may your bright hues flash and shine
In this proud, happy land of mine,
In this free, joyous land of thine,
Gay choir of forest aisle!


Come when the dove's low cooing calls
To Spring's first bursting bud.
Come when the honey-bee invites,
To Summer's bounteous delights
To sunny days and moonlight nights
The fruitful field and wood.


And when the sere and yellow leaf
Falls murmuring to the ground,
Tarry, to chant creation's praise
In your own sunny, witching ways,
So long as bloom and fruitage stays
Or sheltering nooks are found.


And when my life's glad Spring is past,
Its apple-blooms decayed;
And when my life's sweet Summer goes
No more its beauties to unclose;
When time has bloomed its latest rose
In loneliness to fade.


In Autumn sheaves all gathered in
Its flame to ashes burned.
I still would ask thy ministry.
Come to my grave and sing to me
Creation's sweetest melody
That man has never learned.


Though far away, I may not hear,
Yet sweet will be the thought
That they who nearest Heaven soar,
From earth's green fields and wave-beat shore,
Still sing to me when life is o'er
And others have forgot.