The birds within the trees twitter and chirp,
For this is the advance of spring, and they
Prepare their places, every featherling
Within the balmy day, sunny and cool,
As even so they frolic, so they play,
As even past my nose one takes his wing,
And so their cheer eradicates the ghoul
Of winter that the springtime now usurp.
For him no exequy—his hoary head
Unwelcome in this place, fingers of frost
With which he touch the tender budding flowers
As poke their heads too early and are lost--
The tender shoots fulfill their gentle powers
As top their green with yellow, damask red.
The birds twitter and sing the livelong day
In preparation for their days to come
Of avian delight—but look below,
There slinks a starveling kitten Russian blue,
That prowls the ground beneath their treebranch home,
Now underneath a bush he passes, slow
Crouched on his haunches as the stalker do,
Though well detected in this early May.
Let not a nestling fall! As even but
Some few days past, I spied that there had dropped
An egg; its perforated shell left broken
Upon the ground, too late for hand to opt
To set it back in place, as but betoken
Futility, its little future cut.
This is the way of spring. New leaves have sprung
From trees that yet extend their rakish hands
Into the sky, while some as yet stay bare,
Though, howsoever long, ’tis definite
They must comply yet with the time’s demands
And soon a rash of green will cover there,
Leafy protection there for birds to sit
And glade of shade to sing their songs among.
“Nature’s first green is gold,” yet all today
Is green without the slightest compromise
Where but before had been the bare and bleak,
New green, and winter that did tyrannize
Dare not to show his face, lest him we tweak,
Borne in his exile somewhere far away.
Think not on him! These are the songs of spring
As issue forth, which with the air is filled,
From birds that have returned—there purple finch
There robin redbreast, there a fluted thrush--
Too many birds in plethora have spilled
Into the season, yet not let the pinch
Of predator, now creeping in the bush
Claim of these happy songsters twittering.
How many different sounds now fill the ear,
Of generosity of tone and shape,
Rhythm and diction—little Mozarts in
So many trees whose billowed branches drape
Themselves in air made clear despite the din,
As now we know the message: spring is here!