The Golden Bird

THE light, refracted from the silver windows,
Crosses the street, pours through the single leaf
Left on the little maple, purest yellow,
Is focused there, alchemical and brief.
The golden bird is a common English sparrow,
But under that leaf, and in that light, he burns
All fire, within, without, his eye a jewel,
His feathers metal, flashing when he turns.
A common bird. He will be here all winter;
You will see him, any morning, in the snow,
The color and shape of a lump of mud, or horse-dung,
And he has no song. You would not believe it, though,
Seeing him now, illumined, almost music,
So that what the eye beholds, the slower ear
Expects, at any moment — golden color
Made sound, the melody double, rich and clear.