together through winter ...
they flit, flutter, and play ~
even on a snowy day ...
because these birds are special that way ~
The Cardinal Bird
William Davis Gallagher
A day and then a week passed by:
The redbird hanging from the sill
Sang not; and all were wondering why
It was so still— When one bright morning, loud and clear,
Its whistle smote my drowsy ear,
Ten times repeated, till the sound
Filled every echoing niche around;
And all things earliest loved by me,—
The bird, the brook, the flower, the tree,—
Came back again, as thus I heard
The cardinal bird.
When maple orchards towered aloft, And spicewood bushes spread below, Where skies were blue, and winds were soft, I could but go— For, opening through a wildering haze, Appeared my restless childhood's days; And truant feet and loitering mood Soon found me in the same old wood (Illusion's hour but seldom brings So much the very form of things) Where first I sought, and saw, and heard The cardinal bird.
Then came green meadows, broad and bright, Where dandelions, with wealth untold, Gleamed on the young and eager sight Like stars of gold; And on the very meadow's edge, Beneath the ragged blackberry hedge, Mid mosses golden, gray and green, The fresh young buttercups were seen, And small spring-beauties, sent to be The heralds of anemone: All just as when I earliest heard The cardinal bird.
Upon the gray old forest's rim I snuffed the crab-tree's sweet perfume; And farther, where the light was dim, I saw the bloom Of May-apples, beneath the tent Of umbrel leaves above them bent; Where oft was shifting light and shade The blue-eyed ivy wildly strayed; And Solomon's-seal, in graceful play, Swung where the straggling sunlight lay: The same as when I earliest heard The cardinal bird.
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