Katharine Lee Bates

The first Bluebirds

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THE poor earth was so winter-marred,
Harried by storm so long,
It seemed no spring could mend her,
No tardy sunshine render
Atonement for such wrong.
Snow after snow, and gale and hail,
Gaunt trees encased in icy mail,
The glittering drifts so hard
They took no trace
Of scared, wild feet,
No print of fox and hare
Driven by dearth
To forage for their meat
Even in dooryard bare
And frosty lawn
Under the peril of the human race;
And then one primrose dawn,
Sweet, sweet, O sweet,
And tender, tender,
The bluebirds woke the happy earth
With song.

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