The Blackbird.

Upon the cherry-bough the blackbird sings1
His careless, happy song,2
As ’mid the rubied fruit he tilting swings,3
Heedless of Right or Wrong.4
No Future taunts him with its fears or hopes,5
No cares his Present fret ;6
The Past for him no dismal vista opes7
Of useless, dark regret.8
Ah ! how I envy him, as there he sings9
His glad unthinking strain,10
Untroubled by the sad imaginings11
That haunt man’s plotting brain !12
All orchards are his home ; no work or care13
Compels him here to stay ;14
His is the world—the breathing, open air15
The glorious summer day.16
Below, Earth blossoms for him ; and above17
Heaven smiles in boundless blue ;18
Joy is in all things, and the song of Love19
Thrills his whole being through.20
From bough to bough its gay and transient guest21
Is free to come and go22
Where’er the whim invites, where’er the best23
Of juicy blackhearts grow.24
His are these sunny sides, that through and through25
He stabs with his black bill ;26
And his the happiness man never knew,27
That comes without our will.28
Ah ! we who boast we are the crown of things,29
Like him are never glad ;30
By doubts and dreams and dark self-questionings31
We stand besieged and sad.32
What know we of that rare felicity33
The unconscious blackbird knows,34
That no misgiving spoils ; that frank and free35
From merely living grows ?36
Haggard Repentance ever dogs our path ;37
The foul fiend Discontent38
Harries the spirit, and the joys it hath39
Are but a moment lent.40
The riddle of our Life we cannot guess ;41
From toil to toil we haste,42
And in our sweetest joy some bitterness43
Of secret pain we taste.44
Ah ! for an hour at least, when bold and free45
In being’s pure delight,46
Loosed from the cares that clog humanity,47
The soul might wing its flight.48
Then, blackbird, we might sing the perfect song49
Of Life and Love with thee,50
Where no regret nor toil, nor fear of Wrong,51
Nor doubt of Right should be.52