From out the white and pulsing storm
I hear the snow-birds calling;
The sheeted winds stalk o'er the hills,
And fast the snow is falling.
Like children laughing at their play
I hear the birds a-twitter,
What care they that the skies are dim
Or that the cold is bitter?
On twinkling wings they eddy past,
At home amid the drifting,
Or seek the hills and weedy fields
Where fast the snow is sifting.
Their coats are dappled white and brown
Like fields in winter weather,
But on the azure sky they float
Like snowflakes knit together.
I've heard them on the spotless hills
Where fox and hound were playing,
The while I stood with eager ear
Bent on the distant baying.
The unmown fields are their preserves,
Where weeds and grass are seeding;
They know the lure of distant stacks
Where houseless herds are feeding.
O cheery bird of winter cold,
I bless thy every feather;
Thy voice brings back dear boyhood days
When we were gay together.