The Last Bird

LITTLE BIRD that singest
Far atop, this warm December day,
Heaven bestead thee, that thou wingest,
Ere the welcome song is done, thy way

To more certain weather,
Where, built high and solemnly, the skies,
Shaken by no storm together,
Fixed in vaults of steadfast Sapphire rise !

There, the smile that mocks us
Answers with its warm serenity ;
There, the prison-ice that locks us
Melts forgotten in a purple sea.

There, thy tuneful brothers,
In the palm's green plumage waiting long,
Mate them with the myriad others,
Like a broken rainbow bound with song.

Winter scarce is hidden,
Veiled within this fair, deceitful sky;
Fly, ere, from his ambush bidden,
He descend in ruin swift and nigh !

By the Summer stately,
Truant, thou wast fondly reared and bred:
Dost thou linger here so lately,
Knowing not thy beauteous friend is dead,—

Like to hearts that, clinging
Fervent where their first delight was fed,
Move us with untimely singing
Of the hopes whose blossom-time is sped ?

Beauties have their hour,
Safely perched on the Spring-budding tree ;
For the ripened soul is trust and power,
And, beyond, the calm eternity.