Birds of Passage

NORTH on the wind with pipes that faintly ring
The silver snowbirds blow ; fox sparrows gay
Set down their load of music for a day
Only, and follow on the tawny wing ;
The piercing sweetness that the whitethroats sing
Is hushed ere leaves are large; they die away,
The rosebreast’s flutes; and passing, even in May,
The silent hermit holds his heart from spring.
Rich is my singing June, and lordlier song
The meadows and the river woods prolong.
Yet song is sweetest when the song has died;
For I am fashioned of so fragile clay
As most to love the things that pass away,
Though well I love the truer that abide.
Joseph Russell Taylor.