Bearing His cross, while Christ passed forth forlorn, His God-like forehead by the mock crown torn, A little bird took from that crown one thorn. To soothe the dear Redeemers throbbing head, That bird did what she could; His blood, tis said. Down dropping, dyed her tender bosom red. Since then no wanton boy disturbs her nest; Weasel nor wild cat will her young molest; All sacred deem the bird of ruddy breast. Hoskyns-AbrahallThe Redbreast. A Bréton Legend. In English Lyrics.
On fair Britannias isle, bright bird, A legend strange is told of thee. Tis said thy blithesome song was hushed While Christ toiled up Mount Calvary, Bowed neath the sins of all mankind; And humbled to the very dust By the vile cross, while viler men Mocked with a crown of thorns the Just. Pierced by our sorrows, and weighed down By our transgressions,faint and weak, Crushed by an angry Judges frown, And agonies no word can speak, Twas then, dear bird, the legend says That thou, from out His crown, didst tear The thorns, to lighten the distress, And ease the pain that he must bear, While pendant from thy tiny beak The gory points thy bosom pressed, And crimsoned with thy Saviours blood The sober brownness of thy breast! Since which proud hour for thee and thine. As an especial sign of grace God pours like sacramental wine Red signs of favor oer thy race! Delle W. NortonTo the Robin Redbreast.
The Redbreast, sacred to the household gods, Wisely regardful of the embroiling sky, In joyless fields and thorny thickets leaves His shivering mates, and pays to trusted Man His annual visit. ThomsonThe Seasons. Winter. L. 246.
Call for the robin-red-breast, and the wren, Since oer shady groves they hover, And with leaves and flowers do cover The friendless bodies of unburied men. John WebsterThe White Devil, or Vittoria Corombona. A Dirge.
Now when the primrose makes a splendid show, And lilies face the March-winds in full blow, And humbler growths as moved with one desire Put on, to welcome spring, their best attire, Poor Robin is yet flowerless; but how gay With his red stalks upon this sunny day! WordsworthPoor Robin.
Art thou the bird whom Man loves best, The pious bird with the scarlet breast, Our little English Robin; The bird that comes about our doors When autumn winds are sobbing? WordsworthThe Redbreast Chasing the Butterfly.
Stay, little cheerful Robin! stay, And at my casement sing, Though it should prove a farewell lay And this our parting spring. * * * * * Then, little Bird, this boon confer, Come, and my requiem sing, Nor fail to be the harbinger Of everlasting spring. WordsworthTo a Redbreast. In Sickness.