Alas! I see that thrushes three Are ravishing my old fig tree, In whose green shade I smoked my pipe And waited for the fruit to ripe; From green to purple softly swell Then drop into my lap to tell That it is succulently sweet And excellent to eat.
And now I see the crimson streak, The greedy gash of yellow beak. And look! the finches come in throng, In wavy passage, light with song; Of course I could scare them away, But with a shrug: 'The heck!' I say. I owe them something for their glee, So let them have their spree.
For all too soon in icy air My fig tree will be bleak and bare, Until it wake from Winter sleep And button buds begin to peep. Then broad leaves come to shelter me In luminous placidity. Then figs will ripen with a rush And brash will come the thrush.
But what care I though birds destroy My fruit,--they pay me back with joy.