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Woodpecker Poems

Table of Contents

  1. The Woodpecker by Elizabeth Madox Roberts
  2. The Woodpecker by Emily Dickinson
  3. The Woodpecker by Charles Warren Stoddard
  4. The Downy Woodpecker by John Burroughs
  5. The Woodpecker by John B. Tabb
  6. The Foolish Woodpecker by Ed Blair

  1. The Woodpecker

    by Elizabeth Madox Roberts

    The woodpecker pecked out a little round hole
    And made him a house in the telephone pole.

    One day when I watched he poked out his head,
    And he had on a hood and a collar of red.

    When the streams of rain pour out of the sky,
    And the sparkles of lightning go flashing by,

    And the big, big wheels of thunder roll,
    He can snuggle back in the telephone pole.

  2. The Woodpecker

    by Emily Dickinson

    His bill an auger is,
    His head, a cap and frill.
    He laboreth at every tree, —
    A worm his utmost goal.

  3. The Woodpecker

    by Charles Warren Stoddard

    A busy woodpecker! What would you call
    This monk of a fellow, tapping a tree
    With little cells like a catacombed hall,
    To bury his acorns in—what would you call
    Such a curious monk as he?

    Tucking his acorns away in their tomb
    To feed upon, by and by, at his will—
    Does he ever think of the hidden bloom
    In the acorn's heart? Though shut in a tomb
    There is life cherished there still.

    Time is a woodpecker, crowding the cells
    Of the catacombed earth with holy dead;
    But there's a bud of life that swells
    In the oak tree's might and it shatters the cells
    As the soul when the life has fled.

  4. The Downy Woodpecker

    by John Burroughs

    Downy came and dwelt with me,
    Taught me hermit lore;
    Drilled his cell in oaken tree
    Near my cabin door.

    Architect of his own home
    In the forest dim,
    Carving its inverted dome
    In a dozy limb.

    Carved it deep and shaped it true
    With his little bill;
    Took no thought about the view,
    Whether dale or hill.

    Shook the chips upon the ground,
    Careless who might see,
    Hark! his hatchet's muffled sound
    Hewing in the tree.

    Round his door as compass-mark,
    True and smooth his wall;
    Just a shadow on the bark
    Points you to his hall.

    Downy leads a hermit life
    All the winter through;
    Free his days from jar and strife,
    And his cares are few.

    Waking up the frozen woods,
    Shaking down the snows;
    Many trees of many moods
    Echo to his blows.

    When the storms of winter rage,
    Be it night or day,
    Then I know my little page
    Sleeps the time away.

    Downy's stores are in the trees,
    Egg and ant and grub;
    Juicy tidbits, rich as cheese,
    Hid in stump and stub.

    Rat-tat-tat his chisel goes,
    Cutting out his prey;
    Every boring insect knows
    When he comes its way.

    Always rapping at their doors,
    Never welcome he;
    All his kind, they vote, are bores,
    Whom they dread to see.

    Why does Downy live alone
    In his snug retreat
    Has he found that near the bone
    Is the sweetest meat

    Birdie craved another fate
    When the spring had come;
    Advertised him for a mate
    On his dry-limb drum.

    Drummed her up and drew her near,
    In the April morn,
    Till she owned him for her dear
    In his state forlorn.

    Now he shirks all family cares,
    This I must confess;
    Quite absorbed in self affairs
    In the season's stress.

    We are neighbors well agreed
    Of a common lot;
    Peace and love our only creed
    In this charmèd spot.

  5. The Woodpecker

    by John B. Tabb

    The wizard of the woods is he;
    For in his daily round,
    Where'er he finds a rotting tree,
    He makes the timber sound.

  6. The Foolish Woodpecker

    by Ed Blair

    A woodpecker once,
    A sort of a dunce,
    And who as a warbler not much of a siren,
    Passed by many trees
    Where he might have with ease
    Bored out a nice hole to his hunger appease,
    For a lofty church steeple made out of sheet iron.

    He whetted his bill,
    And then with good-will
    And a thrumpty-thrum-thrum he started to bore,
    Nor let up until
    The end of his bill
    Was worn off so much that it gave him a chill
    And the back of his bobber began to get sore.

    A black bird and wren,
    A rooster and hen,
    A crow and a sparrow were watching him drill,
    And squinted one eye
    At his birdship so high,
    So far from the earth that he looked like a fly
    And wondered how long he could work with good-will.

    When his bobber gave out
    He gave a faint shout
    To the crowd that was watching him down on the ground,
    And said, Come up here
    Where the air is so clear
    And lend me a hand, for a worm is so near
    Whenever I peck I can hear his faint sound.

    Then the blackbird and wren
    And the sparrow and hen
    And the crow that were watching him, called from below
    And said, "Silly Goose,
    Your work's of no use,
    You might drill in that iron until your head's loose.
    You have no more sense than some men that we know."

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