Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
769. The Golden-Robin’s Nest
By John White Chadwick
THE GOLDEN-ROBIN came to build his nest
High in the elm-tree’s ever-nodding crest;
All the long day, upon his task intent,
Backward and forward busily he went,
Gathering from far and near the tiny shreds        5
That birdies weave for little birdies’ beds;
Now bits of grass, now bits of vagrant string,
And now some queerer, dearer sort of thing.
For on the lawn, where he was wont to come
In search of stuff to build his pretty home,        10
We dropped one day a lock of golden hair
Which our wee darling easily could spare;
And close beside it tenderly we placed
A lock that had the stooping shoulders graced
Of her old grandsire; it was white as snow,        15
Or cherry-trees when they are all ablow.
Then throve the golden-robin’s work apace;
Hundreds of times he sought the lucky place
Where sure, he thought, in his bird-fashion dim,
Wondrous provision had been made for him.        20
Both locks, the white and golden, disappeared;
The nest was finished, and the brood was reared;
And then there came a pleasant summer’s day
When the last golden-robin flew away.
Ere long, in triumph, from its leafy height,        25
We bore the nest so wonderfully dight,
And saw how prettily the white and gold
Made warp and woof of many a gleaming fold.
But when again the golden-robins came,
Cleaving the orchards with their breasts aflame,        30
Grandsire’s white locks and baby’s golden head
Were lying low, both in one grassy bed.
And so more dear than ever is the nest
Ta’en from the elm-tree’s ever nodding crest.
Little the golden-robin thought how rare        35
A thing he wrought of white and golden hair!


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