Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. V. Nature
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume V. Nature.  1904.
VI. Animate Nature
Asian Birds
Robert Bridges (1844–1930)
IN this May-month, by grace
  of heaven, things shoot apace.
The waiting multitude
  of fair boughs in the wood,—
How few days have arrayed        5
  their beauty in green shade!
What have I seen or heard?
  it was the yellow bird
Sang in the tree: he flew
  a flame against the blue;        10
Upward he flashed. Again,
  hark! ’t is his heavenly strain,
Another! Hush! Behold,
  many, like boats of gold,
From waving branch to branch        15
  their airy bodies launch.
What music is like this,
  where each note is a kiss?
The golden willows lift
  their boughs the sun to sift:        20
Their silken streamers screen
  the sky with veils of green,
To make a cage of song,
  where feathered lovers throng.
How the delicious notes        25
  come bubbling from their throats!
Full and sweet, how they are shed
  like round pearls from a thread,
The motions of their flight
  are wishes of delight.        30
Hearing their song, I trace
  the secret of their grace.
Ah, could I this fair time
  so fashion into rhyme,
The poem that I sing        35
  would be the voice of spring.

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