Poetry of Kansas

Taught by a Bird.

An April day: the cold wind blew,
The dark clouds lowered, the thick snow flew,
And where the springing grasses lay green,
Ragged patches of white were seen.
Snow everywhere! I gazed with a sigh,
As the big flakes fell from the gloomy sky;
Loading the limbs of the budding trees,
Filling the hollows about their knees.
Had winter come back___the vanquished king___
And rudely throttled the maiden, spring?
But lo! from amid the storm I heard
The sweet, glad song of a tiny bird.
On a tufted twig, its feet in the snow,
Swung by the cold wind to and fro,
It sat and sang___that wee brown bird___
Putting to shame my petulant word.
The darkness lifted, the storm was done;
Through the broken cloud-rifts shone the sun;
A breath came up from the south, and the snow
Melted away in genial glow.
Spring reigned again; and again I heard
The joyous song of that dear brown bird.
With quickened pulses, and heart aglow,
I caught the refrain, "I told you so."
Ah, little bird, had I faith like you,
When life and the world are dark to view!
When lowering skies are above me bent,
Could I feel your trust and your sweet content!
You sang, your tender feet in the snow,
Swung by the cold wind to and fro.
Your faith was sure, and now I repeat,
Over and over, the lesson so sweet.

__Ellen P. Allerton.

Walls of Corn and Other Poems
Ellen P. Allerton
(Hiawatha, KS: Harrington Printing Company. 1894)
Page 83

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March 25, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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