Katharine Lee Bates: Yellow Warblers

Yellow Warblers

Katharine Lee Bates

The first faint dawn was flushing up the skies When, dreamland still bewildering mine eyes, I looked out to the oak that, winter-long, — a winter wild with war and woe and wrong — Beyond my casement had been void of song.
And lo! with golden buds the twigs were set, Live buds that warbled like a rivulet Beneath a veil of willows.  Then I knew Those tiny voices, clear as drops of dew, Those flying daffodils that fleck the blue,
Those sparkling visitants from myrtle isles, Wee pilgrims of the sun, that measure miles Innumerable over land and sea With wings of shining inches.  Flakes of glee, They filled that dark old oak with jubilee,
Foretelling in delicious roundelays Their dainty courtships on the dipping sprays, How they should fashion nests, mate helping mate, Of milkweed flax and fern-down delicate To keep sky-tinted eggs inviolate.
Listening to those blithe notes, I slipped once more From lyric dawn through dreamland's open door, And there was God, Eternal Life that sings, Eternal joy, brooding all mortal things, A nest of stars, beneath untroubled wings.