November came on, with an eye severe,
And his stormy language, was hoarse to hear,
And the glittering garland, of brown and red,
Which he wreath'd for awhile, round the forest's head,
In sudden anger he rent away,
And all was cheerless, and bare, and grey.
Then the houseless grasshopper told his woes,
And the humming-bird sent forth a wail for the rose,
And the spider, that weaver, of cunning so deep,
Roll'd himself up, in a ball, to sleep,
And the cricket his merry horn laid by,
On the shelf with the pipe of the dragon-fly.
Soon voices were heard, at the morning prime,
Consulting of flight, to a warmer clime,
"Let us go! let us go!" said the bright-wing'd jay,
And his grey spouse sang from a rocking spray
"I am tir'd to death of this hum-drum tree,
I'll go, if 'tis only this world to see."
"Will you go," ask'd the robin, "my only love?"
And a tender strain from the leafless grove
Responded, "wherever your lot is cast,
Mid sunny skies, or the wintry blast,
I am still at your side, your heart to cheer,
Though dear is our nest, in this thicket here."
"I am ready to go, cried the plump young wren,
From the hateful homes of these northern men,
My throat is sore, and my feet are blue,
I fear I have caught the consumption too,
And the Oriole told with a flashing eye,
How his plumage was spoil'd by the frosty sky.
Then up went the thrush, with a trumpet-call, [wall,]
And the martins came forth from their box on the
And the owlets peep'd out from their secret bower,
And the swallows conven'd on the old church tower,
And the council of blackbirds was long and loud,
Chattering and flying from tree to cloud.
"The dahlia is dead on her throne," said they,
And we saw the butterfly, cold as clay,
Not a berry is found on the russet plains,
Not a kernel of ripen'd maize remains,
Every worm is hid, shall we longer stay,
To be wasted with famine, away! away!"
But what a strange clamour on elm and oak,
From a bevy of brown-coated mocking-birds broke!
The theme of each separate speaker they told,
In a shrill report, with such mimickry bold,
That the eloquent orators stared to hear,
Their own true echoes, so wild and clear.
Then tribe after tribe, with its leader fair,
Swept off, through the fathomless depth of air;
Who maketh their course to the tropics bright?
Who nervcth their wing for its weary flight?
Who guideth that caravan's trackless way,
By the stars at night, and the cloud by day?
The Indian fig with its arching screen,
Welcomes them in, to its vistas green
And the breathing buds of the spicy tree,
Thrill at the burst of their revelry,
And the bulbul starts, 'mid his carol clear,
Such a rushing of stranger-wings to hear.
O wild-wood wanderers! how far away
From your rural homes in our vales ye stray;
But when they are wak'd by the touch of Spring,
We shall see you again with your glancing wing,
Your nests 'mid our household trees to raise,
And stir our hearts in our Maker's praise.