The Humming-Bird

DANCER of air,
Flashing thy flight across the noontide hour,
To pierce and pass ere it is full aware
Each wondering flower!
Jeweled coryphée,
With quivering wings like shielding gauze outspread,
And measure like a gleaming shuttle’s play
With unseen thread !
The phlox, milk-white,
Sways to thy whirling ; stirs each warm rose breast;
But not for these thy palpitant delight,
Thy rhythmic quest;
Swift weaves thy maze
Where flaunts the trumpet-vine its scarlet pride,
Where softer fire, behind its chaliced blaze,
Doth fluttering hide.
The grave thrush sings
His love-call, and the nightingale’s romance
Throbs through the twilight; thou hast but thy wings,
Thy sun-thrilled dance.
Yet doth love’s glow
Burn in the ruby of thy restless throat,
Guiding thy voiceless ecstasy to know
The richest note
Of brooding thrush !
Now for thy joy the emptied air doth long ;
Thine is the nested silence, and the hush
That needs no song.
Ednah Proctor Clarke.