My garden robin in the Spring Was rapturous with glee, And followed me with wistful wing From pear to apple tree; His melodies the summer long He carolled with delight, As if he could with jewelled song Find favour in my sight.
And now that Autumn's in the air He's singing singing still, And yet somehow I cannot bear The frenzy of his bill; The keen wind ruffs his ruddy breast As to bare boughs he clings; The sun is sullen in the West Yet still he sings and sings.
Soon, soon the legions of the snow Will pitch their tents again, And round my window-sill I know He'll call for crumbs in vein; The pulsing passion of his throat Has hint of Winter woe; The piercing sweetness of his note entreats me not to go.
In vein, in vain, Oh valiant one, You sing to bid me stay! For all my life is in the sun And I must fly away. yet by no gold or orange glow Will I be comforted, Seeing blood-bright in bitter snow - A robin dead.