The Two Blackbirds.

A Blackbird in a wicker cage,1
That hung and swung ’mid fruits and flowers,2
Had learnt the song-charm, to assuage3
The drearess of its wingless hours.4
And ever when the song was heard,5
From trees around the grassy plot6
Frisk’d another glossy bird,—7
Whose mate not long ago was shot.8
Not to console its own wild smart,9
But, with a kindling instinct strong,10
The novel feeling of its heart11
Beats for the captive bird of song.12
And when those mellow notes are still,13
It hops from off its choral perch,14
O’er path and sward, with busy bill,15
All grateful gifts to peck and search.16
Store of ouzel dainties choice17
To those white swinging bars it brings ;18
And with a low consoling voice,19
It talks between its fluttering wings.20
Deeply in their bitter grief21
Those sufferers reciprocate,22
One sings for its wingéd life,—23
The other for its murder’d mate.24
But deeper doth the secret prove,25
Uniting those sad creatures so ;26
Humanity’s great link of love,27
The common sympathy of woe.28
Yet daily with its flattering voice,29
Talking amid its fluttering wings,30
Store of ouzel dainties choice,31
With busy bill the poor bird brings.32
And shall I say, till weak with age33
Down from its drowsy branch it drops,34
It will not leave that captive cage,35
Nor cease those busy searching hops ?36
Ah, no ! the moral will not strain ;37
Another sense will make it range,38
Another mate will soothe its pain,39
Another season work a change.40
But, through the live-long summer, tried41
A pure devotion we may see ;42
The ebb and flow of nature’s tide43
A pitying, loving sympathy.44