Poetry of Kansas

The First Bird.

The south wind blows with a hint of spring___
    A prophecy___it can be nothing more;
But there sits abird with wee brown wing,
    Up in the hickory, over the door.
On a naked twig he sits and sings;
    And the March sun shines, arid the warm winds blow
And his frail perch trembles and sways and swings,
    Over great masses of melting snow.
Oh! his song is sweet! and almost I think
    That the spring is come; and a conjured scene
Of the planting of corn and the bobolink,
    Dreamily rises my thoughts between.
But heavy and deep lies the winter drift!___
    Ah, little bird, you're ahead of your time!
The wind will change with a sudden shift;
    You will shiver and chill in our northern clime.
You had better have stayed in the orange trees
    For some days yet___for where will you go
When the icy raindrops fall and freeze?
    And where will you hid from the sleet and snow?
Little bird, would you only come to my door;
    I would take you into my kitchen warm___
Where strangers a welcome have found before___
    And keep you safe from the driving storm.
Will you come?___But you still believe in the spring;
    You slight the offer I make, and me.
You are off! with your song and your glancing wing,
    And silent and bare is my hickory tree.

__Ellen P. Allerton.

Walls of Corn and Other Poems
Ellen P. Allerton
(Hiawatha, KS: Harrington Printing Company. 1894)
Pages 125-126

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May 1, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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