Gateway to the Classics: Display Item
Alfred Noyes

The Humming Birds

Green wing and ruby throat,

What shining spell, what exquisite sorcery,

Lured you to float

And fight with bees round this one flowering tree?

Petulant imps of light,

What whisper or gleam or elfin-wild perfume

Thrilled through the night

And drew you to this hive of rosy bloom?

One tree, and one alone,

Of all that load this magic air with spice,

Claims for its own

Your brave migration out of Paradise;

Claims you, and guides you, too,

Three thousand miles across the summer's waste

Of blooms ye knew

Less finely fit for your ethereal taste.

To poets' youthful hearts,

Even so the quivering April thoughts will fly,—

Those irised darts,

Those winged and tiny denizens of the sky.

Through beaks as needle-fine,

They suck a redder honey than bees know.

Unearthly wine

Sleeps in this bloom; and, when it falls, they go.