Birds of Passage

by Dora Read Goodale (1866 - 1915)

from All Round the Year, Verses from Sky Farm


In the budding woods on April days,
Faint with fragrance from the life begun,
Where the early fluttering sunbeam plays
Like a prisoned creature of the sun,
With sweet trill or plaintive note,
Quick pulsation of a throat,
With the life and light of Spring,
There the birds of April sing.

When the sunny Summer days are long,
And the woods are green and full and fair,
Richer, stronger, freer falls the song,
Warm, melodious, on the vibrant air;
Though more seldom comes the tune
In the golden days of June,
Yet, upborne on restless wing,
Happy birds of Summer sing.

When the glowing Autumn days are past,
And the woods stand brown against the sky,
When the north wind breathes a chilling blast,
Southward see the birds of Autumn fly!
As they sing a parting strain
To the music of the rain,
Spring and Summer cannot bring
What the birds of Autumn sing!