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Robin Poems

Table of Contents

  1. What Robin Told by George Cooper
  2. Robin RedBreast by William Allingham
  3. How dare the robins sing by Emily Dickinson
  4. The Robin by Emily Dickinson
  5. To a Robin by William Francis Barnard
  6. Robin Redbreast by George Washington Doane
  7. Piping Robin by Annette Wynne
  8. Robin's Secret by Katharine Lee Bates
  9. Robin's Come by William Warner Caldwell
  10. If I shouldn't be alive by Emily Dickinson
  11. An Epitaph on a Robin-Redbreast by Samuel Rogers
  12. The Redbreast Chasing a Butterfly by William Wordsworth
  13. Home by Francis Ledwidge
  14. To the Oregon Robin by John Burroughs
  15. The Robin by Jones Very
  16. The Robin by William Thompson Bacon
  17. Tampa Robins by Sidney Lanier
  18. Why Robin's Breast is Red by James R. Randall
  19. The Robin by John G. Whittier
  20. Robin's Mate by Ella Gilbert Ives
  21. How the Robin Came by John G. Whittier
  22. The Robin by Jones Very
  23. To a Robin by Hannah Flagg Gould
  24. The Robin's Hymn by Hannah Flagg Gould
  25. The North Wind Doth Blow by Anonymous
  26. Ingratitude by Thomas Bailey Aldrich
  27. To the Robin by James W. Whilt
  28. The Robin Redbreast by Mathilde Blind
  29. Bleak Weather by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  30. The Secret by Anonymous
  31. The Boy and the Robin by Rev. F. C. Woodworth
  32. Come Here, Little Robin by Anonymous
  33. To a Robin by Helen M. Johnson

  1. What Robin Told

    by George Cooper

    How do the robins build their nests?
    Robin Redbreast told me.
    First a wisp of amber hay
    In a pretty round they lay;
    Then some shreds of downy floss,
    Feathers too and bits of moss,
    Woven with a sweet, sweet song,
    This way, that way, and across,
    That's what Robin told me.

    Where do the robins hide their nests?
    Robin Redbreast told me.
    Up among the leaves so deep,
    Where the sunbeams randy creep,
    Long before the winds are cold,
    Long before the leaves are gold,
    Bright-eyed stars will peep, and see
    Baby robins, one, two, three;
    That's what Robin told me.

  2. Robin RedBreast

    William Allingham. Note: The Old World Robin here referred to is quite different in appearance and habits from the American Robin. It is only about half the size of the latter. Its prevailing color above is olive green, while the forehead, cheeks, throat, and breast are a light yellowish red. It does not migrate, but is found at all seasons throughout temperate Europe, Asia Minor, and northern Africa.

    Good-by, good-by to Summer!
    For Summer's nearly done;
    The garden smiling faintly,
    Cool breezes in the sun;
    Our thrushes now are silent,
    Our swallows flown away,—
    But Robin's here in coat of brown,
    And scarlet brestknot gay.
    Robin, Robin Redbreast,
    O Robin dear!
    Robin sings so sweetly
    In the falling of the year.

    Bright yellow, red, and orange,
    The leaves come down in hosts;
    The trees are Indian princes,
    But soon they'll turn to ghosts;
    The leathery pears and apples
    Hang russet on the bough;
    It's autumn, autumn, autumn late,
    'T will soon be winter now.
    Robin, Robin Redbreast,
    O Robin dear!
    And what will this poor Robin do?
    For pinching days are near.

    The fireside for the cricket,
    The wheat stack for the mouse,
    When trembling night winds whistle
    And moan all round the house.
    The frosty ways like iron,
    The branches plumed with snow,—
    Alas! in winter dead and dark,
    Where can poor Robin go?
    Robin, Robin Redbreast,
    O Robin dear!
    And a crumb of bread for Robin,
    His little heart to cheer.

  3. How dare the robins sing

    by Emily Dickinson

    How dare the robins sing,
    When men and women hear
    Who since they went to their account
    Have settled with the year! —
    Paid all that life had earned
    In one consummate bill,
    And now, what life or death can do
    Is immaterial.
    Insulting is the sun
    To him whose mortal light,
    Beguiled of immortality,
    Bequeaths him to the night.
    In deference to him
    Extinct be every hum,
    Whose garden wrestles with the dew,
    At daybreak overcome!

  4. The Robin

    by Emily Dickinson

    The robin is the one
    That interrupts the morn
    With hurried, few, express reports
    When March is scarcely on.

    The robin is the one
    That overflows the noon
    With her cherubic quantity,
    An April but begun.

    The robin is the one
    That speechless from her nest
    Submits that home and certainty
    And sanctity are best.

  5. To a Robin

    by William Francis Barnard

    Melodious bird upon the bough,
    Tell me the secret of thy glee;
    With tears at heart and clouded brow,
    I linger, listening to thee.
    I pause, bewildered at thy soul,
    Which pours itself in strains so high
    Upon this world of doom and dole;
    Where sorrows live and raptures die.

    Thy pleasures, too, are mixed with pain;
    I have my griefs, and thou hast thine.
    Thou sufferest from the wind and rain;
    In famine thou full oft dost pine.
    Thy nested young, perhaps, are dead,
    Or thy blue eggs were stolen away;
    But still thou liftest up thine head
    To carol to each dawning day.

    Hast thou a strength that I must miss:
    Or inner light which knows no dark?
    Dost thou command some purer bliss
    Which naught adverse has might to mark,
    That thou art aye, as now, serene
    Despite whatever fates may fall?
    Hast thou some good in all things seen,
    And sweetly singest each and all?

    Or art thou of the vagrant glad,
    Who rarely feel the touch of fear;
    Too blithe within to e'er be sad,
    Or hold a vanished joy too dear?
    Say, dost thou quick forget thy woe,
    And lightly lilt o'er thought's emprise?
    Seems it true wisdom not to know,
    And fatuous folly to be wise?

    Thou answerest not, but still dost sing
    As though thy heart would burst with joy.
    Whate'er thou art, glad, winged thing,
    Grief cannot hurt thee or destroy.
    I harkening stand, and sobs repress,
    Where hope is brief and life is long,
    To wonder o'er thy lightsomeness
    And envy thee that happier song!

  6. Robin Redbreast

    by George Washington Doane

    Sweet Robin, I have heard them say
    That thou wert there upon the day
    The Christ was crowned in cruel scorn
    And bore away one bleeding thorn,—
    That so the blush upon thy breast,
    In shameful sorrow, was impressed;
    And thence thy genial sympathy
    With our redeemed humanity.

    Sweet Robin, would that I might be
    Bathed in my Saviour's blood, like thee;
    Bear in my breast, whate'er the loss,
    The bleeding blazon of the cross;
    Live ever, with thy loving mind,
    In fellowship with human-kind;
    And take my pattern still from thee,
    In gentleness and constancy.

  7. Piping Robin

    by Annette Wynne

    Piping Robin, piping so,
    Tell the snow
    It's time to go;
    Tell the rough winds not to blow
    Any more through field and glen;
    Call the bluebirds home again,
    Tell the little flowers to grow,
    Piping Robin, piping so!

  8. Robin's Secret

    by Katharine Lee Bates

    'Tis the blithest, bonniest weather for a bird to flirt a feather,
    For a bird to trill and warble, all his wee red breast a-swell
    I've a secret. You may listen till your blue eyes dance and glisten,
    Little maiden, but I'll never, never, never, never, tell.

    You'll find no more wary piper, till the strawberries wax riper
    In December than in June—aha! all up and down the dell,
    Where my nest is set, for certain, with a pink and snowy curtain
    East or west, but which I'll never, never, never, never tell.

    You may prick me with a thistle, if you ever hear me whistle
    How my brooding mate, whose weariness my carols sweet dispel,
    All between the clouds and clover, apple-blossoms drooping over,
    Twitters low that I must never, never, never, never tell.

    Oh, I swear no closer fellow stains his bill in cherries mellow.
    Tra la la! and tirra lirra! I'm the jauntiest sentinel,
    Perched beside my jewel-casket, where lie hidden don't—you ask it,
    For of those three eggs I'll never, never, never, never tell.

    Chirp! chirp! chirp! alack! for pity! Who hath marred my merry ditty?
    Who hath stirred the scented petals, peeping in where robins
    dwell? Oh, my mate! May Heaven defend her! Little maidens' hearts are tender,
    And I never, never, never, never, never, meant to tell.

  9. Robin's Come

    by William Warner Caldwell

    From the elm-tree's topmost bough,
    Hark! the Robin's early song!
    Telling one and all that now
    Merry spring-time hastes along;
    Welcome tidings dost thou bring,
    Little harbinger of spring:
    Robin's come!

    Of the winter we are weary,
    Weary of the frost and snow;
    Longing for the sunshine cheery,
    And the brooklet's gurgling flow;
    Gladly then we hear thee sing
    The reveille of spring:
    Robin's come!

    Ring it out o er hill and plain,
    Through the garden's lonely bowers,
    Till the green leaves dance again,
    Till the air is sweet with flowers!
    Wake the cowslips by the rill,
    Wake the yellow daffodil;
    Robin's come!

    Then, as thou wert wont of yore,
    Build thy nest and rear thy young,
    Close beside our cottage door,
    In the woodbine leaves among;
    Hurt or harm thou need'st not fear,
    Nothing rude shall venture near:
    Robin's come!

    Swinging still o'er yonder lane
    Robin answers merrily;
    Ravished by the sweet refrain,
    Alice claps her hands in glee,
    Calling from the open door,
    With her soft voice, o'er and o'er,
    Robin's come!

  10. If I shouldn't be alive

    by Emily Dickinson

    If I shouldn't be alive
    When the robins come,
    Give the one in red cravat
    A memorial crumb.

    If I couldn't thank you,
    Being just asleep,
    You will know I'm trying
    With my granite lip!

  11. An Epitaph on a Robin-Redbreast

    by Samuel Rogers

    Tread lightly here, for here, 'tis said,
    When piping winds are hush'd around,
    A small note wakes from underground,
    Where now his tiny bones are laid.
    No more in lone and leafless groves,
    With ruffled wing and faded breast,
    His friendless, homeless spirit roves;
    Gone to the world where birds are blest!
    Where never cat glides o'er the green,
    Or school-boy's giant form is seen;
    But Love, and Joy, and smiling Spring
    Inspire their little souls to sing!

  12. The Redbreast Chasing a Butterfly

    by William Wordsworth

    Art thou the bird whom Man loves best,
    The pious bird with the scarlet breast,
    Our little English Robin;
    The bird that comes about our doors
    When Autumn-winds are sobbing?
    Art thou the Peter of Norway Boors?
    Their Thomas in Finland,
    And Russia far inland?

    The bird, that by some name or other
    All men who know thee call their brother,
    The darling of children and men?
    Could Father Adam open his eyes
    And see this sight beneath the skies,
    He'd wish to close them again.
    —If the Butterfly knew but his friend,
    Hither his flight he would bend;
    And find his way to me,
    Under the branches of the tree:
    In and out, he darts about;
    Can this be the bird, to man so good,
    That, after their bewildering,
    Covered with leaves the little children,
    So painfully in the wood?
    What ailed thee, Robin, that thou could'st pursue
    A beautiful creature,
    That is gentle by nature?
    Beneath the summer sky
    From flower to flower let him fly;
    'Tis all that he wishes to do.
    The cheerer Thou of our in-door sadness,
    He is the friend of our summer gladness:
    What hinders, then, that ye should be
    Playmates in the sunny weather,
    And fly about in the air together!
    His beautiful wings in crimson are drest,
    A crimson as bright as thine own:
    Would'st thou be happy in thy nest,
    O pious Bird! whom man loves best,
    Love him, or leave him alone!

  13. Home

    This is a song a robin sang
    This morning on a broken tree,
    It was about the little fields
    That call across the world to me.

    – Francis Ledwidge
    by Francis Ledwidge

    A burst of sudden wings at dawn,
    Faint voices in a dreamy noon,
    Evenings of mist and murmurings,
    And nights with rainbows of the moon.

    And through these things a wood-way dim,
    And waters dim, and slow sheep seen
    On uphill paths that wind away
    Through summer sounds and harvest green.

    This is a song a robin sang
    This morning on a broken tree,
    It was about the little fields
    That call across the world to me.

  14. To the Oregon Robin

    by John Burroughs

    O varied thrush! O robin strange!
    Behold my mute surprise.
    Thy form and flight I long have known,
    But not this new disguise.

    I do not know thy slaty coat,
    Thy vest with darker zone;
    I'm puzzled by thy recluse ways
    And song in monotone.

    I left thee 'mid my orchard's bloom,
    When May had crowned the year;
    Thy nest was on the apple-bough,
    Where rose thy carol clear.

    Thou lurest now through fragrant shades,
    Where hoary spruces grow;
    Where floor of moss infolds the foot,
    Like depths of fallen snow.

    I follow fast or pause alert,
    To spy out thy retreat;
    Or see thee perched on tree or shrub,
    Where field and forest meet.

    Thy voice is like a hermit's reed
    That solitude beguiles;
    Again 't is like a silver bell
    Atune in forest aisles.

    Throw off, throw off this masquerade
    And don thy ruddy vest,
    And let me find thee, as of old,
    Beside thy orchard nest.

  15. The Robin

    by William Thompson Bacon

    His is the sweetest note in all our woods.
    The whistle of the meadow-lark is sweet,
    The blackbird's rapid chant fills all the vale,
    And touchingly sweet the unincumbered song
    That the thrush warbles in the green-wood shade;
    Yet is the robin still our sweetest bird,
    And beautiful as sweet. His ruddy breast
    When poised on high, struck by the unrisen sun,

    Glows from its altitude, and to the sight
    Presents a burning vestiture of gold;
    And his dark pinions, softly spread, improved
    By contrast shame, the blackbird's jetty plumes.
    Less wild than others of the tuneful choir,
    Oft on the tree that shades the farmer's hut,
    Close by his door, the little architect
    Fixes his home,— though field-groves, and the woods,
    Where the small streams murmur sweetly, loves he most.
    Who seeks his nest may find it deftly hid
    In fork of branching elm, or poplar shade;
    And sometimes on the lawn; though rarely he,
    The one that sings the sweetest, chooses thus
    His habitation. Seek for it in deep
    And tangled hollows, up some pretty brook,
    That, prattling o'er the loose white pebbles, chides
    The echoes with a soft monotony
    Of softest music. There, upon the bough
    That arches it, of fragrance-breathing birch,
    Or kalmia branching in unnumbered forms,
    He builds his moss-lined dwelling. First, he lays,
    Transverse, dried bents picked from the forest walks;
    Or in the glen, where downward with fell force
    The mountain torrent rushes,—these all coated
    With slime unsightly. Soon the builder shows
    An instinct far surpassing human skill,
    And lines it with a layer of soft wool,
    Picked from the thorn where brushed the straggled flock;
    Or with an intertexture of soft hairs,
    Or moss, or feathers. Finally, complete, —
    The usual list of eggs appear, — and lo!
    Four in the whole, and softly tinged with blue.
    And now the mother-bird the livelong day
    Sits on her charge, nor leaves it for her mate,
    Save just to dip her bill into the stream,
    Or gather needful sustenance. Meanwhile,
    The mate, assiduous, guards that mother-bird
    Patient upon her nest; and, at her side,
    Or overhead, or on the adverse bank,
    Nestled, he all the tedious time beguiles,
    Wakes his wild notes, and sings the hours away.

    But soon again new duties wake the pair;
    Their young appear. Love knocking at their hearts,
    Alert they start, as by sure instinct led, —
    That beautiful divinity in birds!
    And now they hop along the forest edge,
    Or dive into the ravines of the woods,
    Or roam the fields, or skim the mossy bank
    Shading some runnel with its antique forms,
    Pecking for sustenance. Or now they mount
    Into mid-air; or poise on half-shut wing,
    Skimming for insects in the dewy beam,
    Gayly disporting; or now, sweeping down
    Where the wild brook flows on with ceaseless laughter,
    Moisten their bills awhile, then soar away.
    And so they weary out the needful hours,
    Preaching, meanwhile, sound lesson unto man!
    Till plump, and fledged, their little ones essay
    Their native element. At first they fail:
    Flutter awhile; then, screaming, sink plump down,
    Prizes for school-boys. Yet the more escape;
    And, wiser grown and stronger, soon their wings
    Obedient send they forth; when, confident,
    They try the forest tops, or skim the flood,
    Or fly up in the skirts of the white clouds, —
    Till, all at once, they start, a mirthful throng,
    Burst into voice, and the wide forest rings!

  16. Tampa Robins

    by Sidney Lanier

    The robin laughed in the orange-tree:
    “Ho, windy North, a fig for thee:
    While breasts are red and wings are bold
    And green trees wave us globes of gold,
    Time’s scythe shall reap but bliss for me
    Sunlight, song, and the orange-tree.

    "Burn, golden globes in leafy sky,
    My orange-planets: crimson I
    Will shine and shoot among the spheres
    (Blithe meteor that no mortal fears)
    And thrid the heavenly orange-tree
    With orbits bright of minstrelsy.

    "If that I hate wild winter’s spite —
    The gibbet trees, the world in white,
    The sky but gray wind over a grave —
    Why should I ache, the season’s slave?
    I’ll sing from the top of the orange-tree
    Gramercy, winter’s tyranny.’

    "I’ll south with the sun, and keep my clime;
    My wing is king of the summer-time;
    My breast to the sun his torch shall hold;
    And I’ll call down through the green and gold
    Time, take thy scythe, reap bliss for me,
    Bestir thee under the orange-tree.’”

  17. Why Robin's Breast is Red

    by James R. Randall

    The Saviour bowed beneath his cross,
    Clomb up the dreary hill,
    While from his agonizing brow
    Ran many a crimson rill.
    The brawny Roman thrust him on
    With unrelenting hand,
    Till, staggering slowly 'mid the crowd,
    He sank upon the sand.

    A little song-bird hovering near,
    That immemorial day,
    Fluttered around and strove to wrench
    One single thorn away.
    The cruel spike impaled his breast,
    And thus, 'tis sweetly said,
    The robin has his silver vest
    Incarnadined with red!

    Ah, Jesu! Jesu! Prince of Peace,
    My dolor and my sighs
    Reveal the lesson taught by this
    Winged Ishmael of the skies.
    I, in the palace of delight,
    Or caverns of despair,
    Have plucked no thorns from thy dear brow,
    But planted thousands there!

  18. The Robin

    by John G. Whittier

    My old Welsh neighbor over the way
    Crept slowly out in the sun of spring,
    Pushed from her ears the locks of gray,
    And listened to hear the robin sing.

    Her grandson, playing at marbles, stopped,
    And, cruel in sport as boys will be,
    Tossed a stone at the bird, who hopped
    From bough to bough in the apple-tree.

    “Nay!” said the grandmother; “have you not heard,
    My poor, bad boy! of the fiery pit,
    And how, drop by drop, this merciful bird
    Carries the water that quenches it?

    “He brings cool dew in his little bill,
    And lets it fall on the souls of sin:
    You can see the mark on his red breast still
    Of fires that scorch as he drops it in.

    “My poor Bron rhuddyn! my breast-burned bird,
    Singing so sweetly from limb to limb,
    Very dear to the heart of Our Lord
    Is he who pities the lost like Him!”

    “Amen!” I said to the beautiful myth;
    “Sing, bird of God, in my heart as well:
    Each good thought is a drop wherewith
    To cool and lessen the fires of hell.

    “Prayers of love like rain-drops fall,
    Tears of pity are cooling dew,
    And dear to the heart of Our Lord are all
    Who suffer like Him in the good they do!”

  19. Robin's Mate

    by Ella Gilbert Ives

    Everybody praises Robin,
    Singing early, singing late;
    But who ever thinks of saying
    A good word for Robin's Mate?

    Yet she's everything to Robin,
    Silent partner though she be;
    Source and theme and inspiration
    Of each madrigal and glee.

    For as she with mute devotion
    Shapes and curves the plastic nest,
    Fashioning a tiny cradle,
    With the pressure of her breast;

    So the love in that soft bosom
    Moulds his being as 'twere clay,
    Prints upon his breast the music
    Of his most impassioned lay.

    And, when next you praise the Robin
    Flinging wide the tuneful gate
    To his eager brood of love-notes
    Don't forget the Robin's Mate.

  20. How the Robin Came

    by John G. Whittier

    Happy young friends, sit by me,
    Under May's blown apple-tree,
    While these home-birds in and out
    Through the blossoms flit about.
    Hear a story, strange and old,
    By the wild red Indians told,
    How the robin came to be:
    Once a great chief left his son,—
    Well-beloved, his only one,—
    When the boy was well-nigh grown,
    In the trial-lodge alone.
    Left for tortures long and slow
    Youths like him must undergo,
    Who their pride of manhood test,
    Lacking water, food, and rest.

    Seven days the fast he kept,
    Seven nights he never slept.
    Then the young boy, wrung with pain,
    Weak from nature's overstrain,
    Faltering, moaned a low complaint
    "Spare me, father, for I faint!"
    But the chieftain, haughty-eyed,
    Hid his pity in his pride.
    "You shall be a hunter good,
    Knowing never lack of food;
    You shall be a warrior great,
    Wise as fox and strong as bear;
    Many scalps your belt shall wear,
    If with patient heart you wait
    Bravely till your task is done.
    Better you should starving die
    Than that boy and squaw should cry
    Shame upon your father's son!"

    When next morn the sun's first rays
    Glistened on the hemlock sprays,
    Straight that lodge the old chief sought,
    And boiled sainp and moose meat brought.
    "Rise and eat, my son!" he said.
    Lo, he found the poor boy dead!
    As with grief his grave they made,
    And his bow beside him laid,
    Pipe, and knife, and wampum-braid,
    On the lodge-top overhead,
    Preening smooth its breast of red
    And the brown coat that it wore,
    Sat a bird, unknown before.
    And as if with human tongue,
    "Mourn me not," it said, or sung;
    "I, a bird, am still your son,
    Happier than if hunter fleet,
    Or a brave, before your feet
    Laying scalps in battle won.
    Friend of man, my song shall cheer
    Lodge and corn-land; hovering near,
    To each wigwam I shall bring
    Tidings of the corning spring;
    Every child my voice shall know
    In the moon of melting snow,
    When the maple's red bud swells,
    And the wind-flower lifts its bells.
    As their fond companion
    Men shall henceforth own your son,
    And my song shall testify
    That of human kin am I."

    Thus the Indian legend saith
    How, at first, the robin came
    With a sweeter life from death,
    Bird for boy, and still the same.
    If my young friends doubt that this
    Is the robin's genesis,
    Not in vain is still the myth
    If a truth be found therewith
    Unto gentleness belong
    Gifts unknown to pride and wrong;
    Happier far than hate is praise,—
    He who sings than he who slays.

  21. The Robin

    by Jones Very

    Thou need'st not flutter from thy half-built nest,
    Whene'er thou hear'st man's hurrying feet go by,
    Fearing his eye for harm may on thee rest,
    Or he thy young unfinished cottage spy;
    All will not heed thee on that swinging bough,
    Nor care that round thy shelter spring the leaves,
    Nor watch thee on the pool's wet margin now
    For clay to plaster straws thy cunning weaves;
    All will not hear thy sweet out-pouring joy,
    That with morn's stillness blends the voice of song,
    For over-anxious cares their souls employ,
    That else upon thy music borne along
    And the light wings of heart-ascending prayer
    Had learned that Heaven is pleased thy simple joys to share.

  22. To a Robin

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    Robin, robin, sing to me,
    And I'll gladly suffer thee
    Thus to breakfast in the tree,
    On the ruddy cherry.
    Soon as thou hast swallowed it,
    How I love to see thee flit
    To another twig, and sit
    Singing there so merry!

    It was kind in thee to fly
    Near my window; and to try
    There to raise thy notes so high,
    As to break my slumbers.
    Robin, half the cheering power
    Of this bright and lovely hour,
    While I pluck the dewy flower,
    Comes from thy sweet numbers.

    And thou wast an honest bird,
    Thus to let thy voice be heard,
    Asking in the plainest word
    Thou could'st utter, whether
    Those, who owned it, would allow
    Thee to take upon the bough
    Thy repast, and sit, as now,
    Smoothing down thy feathers.

    Who, that hears the mellow note
    From my robin's little throat
    On the air of morning float,
    Could desire to still her?
    Who her beauty can behold,
    And consent to have it told
    That he had a heart so cold,
    As to try to kill her?

  23. The Robin's Hymn

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    My maker, I know not the place of thy home;
    If 't is earth or the sky, or the sea.
    I only can tell, that wherever I roam
    I've still a kind father in thee.

    I feel that, at night, when I go to my rest,
    Thy wings all around me are flung.
    And peaceful I sleep while the down of thy breast
    Is o'er me, as mine, o'er my young.

    And when in the morning I open my eye,
    I find thou hast long been awake.
    Thy beautiful plumage seems spread o'er the sky,
    And painted again on the lake.

    Thy breath has gone into the buds; and the flowers
    Have opened to thee on their stems.
    And thou the bright dew-drops hast sent down in showers
    To glitter like thousands of gems.

    Thy voice with the notes that can only be thine —
    A music 't is gladness to hear,
    Comes through the green boughs of the oak and the pine,
    And falls sweet and soft on my ear.

    And many a time hast thou stood between me
    And the arrow, that aimed at my heart.
    For, though in a form that my eye could not see,
    I know thou hast parried the dart.

    I drink from the drops on the grass and the vine,
    And gratefully gather my food.
    I feel thou hast plenty for me and for mine;—
    That all things declare thou art good.

    My Father, thy pinions are ever unfurled,
    With brightness no changes can dim!
    My Maker, thy home is all over the world.
    Thou'lt hear then, thy Robin's low hymn!

  24. The North Wind Doth Blow

    by Anonymous

    The north wind doth blow,
    And we shall have snow,
    And what will poor Robin do then,
    Poor thing?

    He'll sit in a barn,
    And to keep himself warm,
    Will hide his head under his wing,
    Poor thing!

  25. Flower and Thorn

    by Thomas Bailey Aldrich

    Four bluish eggs all in the moss!
    Soft-lined home on the cherry-bough!
    Life is trouble, and love is loss—
    There's only one robin now.

    O robin up in the cherry-tree,
    Singing your soul away,
    Great is the grief befallen me,
    And how can you be so gay?

    Long ago when you cried in the nest,
    The last of the sickly brood,
    Scarcely a pinfeather warming your breast,
    Who was it brought you food?

    Who said, "Music, come fill his throat,
    Or ever the May be fled"?
    Who was it loved the low sweet note
    And the bosom's sea-shell red?

    Who said, "Cherries, grow ripe and big,
    Black and ripe for this bird of mine"?
    How little bright-bosom bends the twig,
    Sipping the black-heart's wine!

    Now that my days and nights are woe,
    Now that I weep for love's dear sake—
    There you go singing away as though
    Never a heart could break!

  26. To the Robin

    by James W. Whilt

    Dear little, sweet little robin
    Dressed in nice grey coat
    With your warm red sweater about you
    Drawn close around your throat.

    With your bright pink stockings,
    That you keep so clean;
    Don't you ever stain them
    In the grass so green?

    Eyes so dark and beautiful,
    Bright as they can be,
    Can spy a worm upon the ground,
    And you high in a tree.

    And the songs you sing me!
    I remember every note,
    All so sweet and silver pure,
    Warbled from your throat.

    When you sing at break of dawn
    Heralding the day,
    Tell of hearts so young and true
    With your sweetest lay.

    Then again at eventide
    When the sun is low
    You sing your sweetest lullaby
    Crooning, soft and low.

    Then it starts me thinking
    Of the One above
    Who put you here to sing to us
    Telling of His love.

  27. The Robin Redbreast

    by Mathilde Blind

    The year's grown songless! No glad pipings thrill
    The hedge-row elms, whose wind-worn branches shower
    Their leaves on the sere grass, where some late flower
    In golden chalice hoards the sunlight still.
    Our summer guests, whose raptures used to fill
    Each apple-blossomed garth and honeyed bower,
    Have in adversity's inclement hour
    Abandoned us to bleak November's chill.

    But hearken! Yonder russet bird among
    The crimson clusters of the homely thorn
    Still bubbles o'er with little rills of song—
    A blending of sweet hope and resignation:
    Even so, when life of love and youth is shorn,
    One friend becomes its last, best consolation.

  28. Bleak Weather

    by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    Dear Love, where the red lilies blossomed and grew
    The white snows are falling;
    And all through the woods where I wandered with you
    The loud winds are calling;
    And the robin that piped to us tune upon tune,
    Neath the oak, you remember,
    O'er hilltop and forest has followed the June
    And left us December.

    He has left like a friend who is true in the sun
    And false in the shadows;
    He has found new delights in the land where he's gone,
    Greener woodlands and meadows.
    Let him go! what care we? let the snow shroud the lea,
    Let it drift on the heather;
    We can sing through it all: I have you, you have me,
    And we'll laugh at the weather.

    The old year may die and a new year be born
    That is bleaker and colder:
    It cannot dismay us; we dare it, we scorn,
    For our love makes us bolder.
    Ah, Robin! sing loud on your far distant lea,
    You friend in fair weather!
    But here is a song sung that's fuller of glee
    By two warm hearts together.

  29. The Secret

    by Anonymous

    We have a secret, just we three,
    The robin, and I, and the sweet cherry-tree;
    The bird told the tree, and the tree told me,
    And nobody knows it but just us three.

    But of course the robin knows it best,
    Because she built the—I shan't tell the rest;
    And laid the four little—something in it—
    I'm afraid I shall tell it every minute.

    But if the tree and the robin don't peep,
    I'll try my best the secret to keep;
    Though I know when the little birds fly about
    Then the whole secret will be out.

  30. The Boy and the Robin

    by Rev. F. C. Woodworth

    So now, pretty Robin, you’ve come to my door,
    I wonder you never have ventured before!
    ’Tis likely you thought I would do you some harm,
    But pray, sir, what cause could there be for alarm?

    You seem to be timid—I’d like to know why;
    Did I ever hurt you? what makes you so shy?
    You shrewd little rogue! I’ve a mind, ere you go,
    To tell you a thing it concerns you to know.

    You think I have never discovered your nest;
    ’Tis hid pretty snugly, that must be confessed;
    Ha! ha! how the boughs are entwined all around!
    No wonder you thought it would never be found.

    You’re as cunning a rogue as ever I knew;
    And yet—ha! ha! ha!—I’m as cunning as you?
    I know all about your, nice home on the tree—
    ’Twas nonsense to try and conceal it from me.

    Go home, where your mate and your little ones dwell;
    Though I know where they are, yet I never will tell;
    Nobody shall injure the leaf-covered nest,
    For sacred to me is the place of your rest.

    Adieu! for you want to be flying away,
    And it would be too cruel to ask you to stay;
    But come in the morning—come early, and sing;
    You shall see what I’ll give you, sweet warbler of spring.

  31. Come Here, Little Robin

    by Anonymous

    Come here, little Robin, and don’t be afraid,
    I would not hurt even a feather;
    Come here, little Robin, and pick up some bread,
    To feed you this very cold weather.

    I don’t mean to hurt you, you poor little thing;
    And Pussy-cat is not behind me;
    So hop about pretty, and put down your wing,
    And pick up the crumbs, and don’t mind me:

    Cold winter is come, but it will not last long,
    And summer we soon shall be greeting;
    Then remember, sweet Robin, to sing me a song
    In return for the breakfast you’re eating.

  32. To a Robin

    by Hilda Conkling

    Robin Red-breast on the tree,
    Do you sing that song for me?

    "You are listening it is true,
    But I do not sing for you.
    Higher yet on tiptoe rise,
    Don't you see a pair of eyes
    Peeping through the pleasant shade
    Which the summer leaves have made?
    There they watch me all day long,
    Brightening at my cheerful song,
    Turning wheresoe'er I go
    For the evening meal below.
    Dearest mate that ever blest
    Happy lover—peaceful nest,—
    Guarding well our eggs of blue,
    All my songs I sing for you!"

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