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Finch Poems

Table of Contents

  1. The Chaffinch's Nest at Sea by William Cowper
  2. The Green Linnet by William Wordsworth
  3. The Indigo-Bird by John Burroughs

Poems About Finches

  1. The Chaffinch's Nest at Sea

    by William Cowper

    In Scotland's realm, forlorn and bare,
    The history chanced of late—
    The history of a wedded pair,
    A chafiinch and his mate.

    The spring drew near, each felt a breast
    With genial instinct filled;
    They paired, and would have built a nest,
    But found not where to build.

    The heaths uncovered, and the moors,
    Except with snow and sleet,
    Sea beaten rocks and naked shores,
    Could yield them no retreat.

    Long time a breeding-place they sought,
    Till both grew vexed and tired;
    At length a ship arriving brought
    The good so long desired.

    A ship! could such a restless thing
    Afford them place of rest?
    Or was the merchant charged to bring
    The homeless birds a nest?

    Hush;—silent readers profit most&mdash
    This racer of the sea
    Proved kinder to them than the coast,&mdash
    It served them with a tree.

    But such a tree! 'twas shaven deal,
    The tree they call a mast;
    And had a hollow with a wheel,
    Through which the tackle passed.

    Within that cavity, aloft,
    Their roofless home they fixed;
    Formed with materials neat and soft,
    Bents, wool, and feathers mixed.

    Four ivory eggs soon pave its floor,
    With russet specks bedight:
    The vessel weighs, forsakes the shore,
    And lessens to the sight.

    The mother-bird is gone to sea
    As she had changed her kind;
    But goes the male? Far wiser, he
    Is doubtless left behind.

    No:—soon as from ashore he saw
    The winged mansion move,
    He flew to reach it, by a law
    Of never-failing love;

    Then perching at his consort's side,
    Was briskly borne along;
    The billows and the blasts defied,
    And cheered her with a song.

    The seaman, with sincere delight,
    His feathered shipmate eyes,
    Scarce less exulting in the sight
    Than when he tows a prize.

    For seamen much believe in signs,
    And, from a chance so new,
    Each some approaching good divines;
    And may his hopes be true!

  2. The Green Linnet

    by William Wordsworth

    Beneath these fruit-tree boughs that shed
    Their snow-white blossoms on my head,
    With brightest sunshine round me spread
    Of Spring's unclouded weather,
    In this sequestered nook how sweet
    To sit upon my orchard-seat!
    And flowers and birds once more to greet,
    My last year's friends together.

    One have I marked, the happiest guest
    In all this covert of the blest:
    Hail to Thee, far above the rest
    In joy of voice and pinion!
    Thou, Linnet! in thy green array
    Presiding Spirit here to-day
    Dost lead the revels of the May,
    And this is thy dominion.

    While birds, and butterflies, and flowers
    Make all one band of paramours,
    Thou, ranging up and down the bowers,
    Art sole in thy employment;
    A Life, a Presence like the air,
    Scattering thy gladness without care,
    Too blest with any one to pair,
    Thyself thy own enjoyment.

    Amid yon tuft of hazel trees,
    That twinkle to the gusty breeze,
    Behold him perched in ecstasies,
    Yet seeming still to hover;
    There! where the flutter of his wings
    Upon his back and body flings
    Shadows and sunny glimmerings,
    That cover him all over.

    My dazzled sight he oft deceives—
    A Brother of the dancing leaves;
    Then flits, and from the cottage-eaves
    Pours forth his song in gushes,
    As if by that exulting strain
    He mocked and treated with disdain
    The voiceless Form he chose to feign
    While fluttering in the bushes.

  3. The Indigo-Bird

    by John Burroughs

    Oh, late to come but long to sing,
    My little finch of deep-dyed wing,
    I welcome thee this day!
    Thou comest with the orchard bloom,
    The azure days, the sweet perfume
    That fills the breath of May.

    A wingèd gem amid the trees,
    A cheery strain upon the breeze
    From treetop sifting down;
    A leafy nest in covert low,
    When daisies come and brambles blow,
    A mate in Quaker brown.

    But most I prize, past summer's prime,
    When other throats have ceased to chime,
    Thy faithful treetop strain;
    No brilliant bursts our ears enthrall—
    A prelude with a "dying fall"
    That soothes the summer's pain.

    Where blackcaps sweeten in the shade,
    And clematis a bower hath made,
    Or in the bushy fields,
    On breezy slopes where cattle graze,
    At noon on dreamy August days,
    Thy strain its solace yields.

    Oh, bird inured to sun and heat,
    And steeped in summer languor sweet,
    The tranquil days are thine,
    The season's fret and urge are o'er,
    Its tide is loitering on the shore;
    Make thy contentment mine!