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William Motherwell

Sing on, Blithe Bird!

I've plucked the berry from the bush, the brown nut from the tree,

But heart of happy little bird ne'er broken was by me.

I saw them in their curious nests, close couching, slyly peer

With their wild eyes, like glittering beads, to note if harm were near;

I passed them by, and blessed them all; I felt that it was good

To leave unmoved the creatures small whose home was in the wood.

And here, even now, above my head a lusty rogue doth sing,

He pecks his swelling breast and neck, and trims his little wing.

He will not fly; he knows full well, while chirping on that spray,

I would not harm him for a world, or interrupt his lay.

Sing on, sing on, blithe bird! and fill my heart with summer gladness.

It has been aching many a day with measures full of sadness!