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Alfred Noyes

Earth and Her Birds

(Shadow-of-a-Leaf Sings)

Brave birds that climb those blue

Dawn-tinted towers,

With notes like showers of dew

From elf-tossed flowers,

Shake your mad wings in mirth,

Betray, betray

The secret thoughts of May,

That heaven, once more, may marry our wild earth.

Dark gipsy, she would dance

Unmated still,

Challenging, glance for glance,

Her lord's high will,

But that her thoughts take wing

While she lies sleeping;

And, into glory leaping,

Like birds, at sunrise, to her bride-groom sing.

See how with cheeks aglow

And lips apart,

While warm winds, murmuring low

Lay bare her heart,

She dreams that she can hide

Its rosy light

In ferns and flowers this night,

And swim like Dian through this hawthorn-tide.

Then shame her, lavrocks, shame her,

At break of day,

That heaven may trap and tame her

This mad sweet May,

Let all your feathered choir

Leave those warm nests

Between her dawn-flushed breats,

And soar to heaven, singing her young desire.