Paradise: In a Symbol


by Christina Rossetti
Golden-winged, silver-winged,
  Winged with flashing flame,
Such a flight of birds I saw,
  Birds without a name:
Singing songs in their own tongue
  (Song of songs) they came.
One to another calling,
  Each answering each,
One to another calling
  In their proper speech:
High above my head they wheeled,
  Far out of reach.
On wings of flame they went and came
  With a cadenced clang,
Their silver wings tinkled,
  Their golden wings rang,
The wind it whistled through their wings
  Where in Heaven they sang.
They flashed and they darted
  Awhile before mine eyes,
Mounting, mounting, mounting still
  In haste to scale the skies—
Birds without a nest on earth,
  Birds of Paradise.
Where the moon riseth not,
  Nor sun seeks the west,
There to sing their glory
  Which they sing at rest,
There to sing their love-song
  When they sing their best:
Not in any garden
  That mortal foot hath trod,
Not in any flowering tree
  That springs from earthly sod,
But in the garden where they dwell,
  The Paradise of God.