Menella Bute Smedley

The Sick Child

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Bird, are you singing to me,
Perch'd on my own window-sill?
Can you, in your little brain,
Knowledge have and thought retain,
That I am lying here in pain,
Weary, weak, and ill?
Is that pretty music mine?
Sweeter I have never heard;

As each pleasant little note
Leaps from your exultant throat,
Like the sun they seem to shine,
Oh, you friendly bird!
Bird, are you singing to me?
Singing of wood and of dell?
Of the flowers I used to take,
Of the nut-trees I would shake,
Of the fishing on the lake,
Have you come to tell?
Singing, singing joyfully,
Joyfully my heart is stirr'd.
None so blithe and brave as I,
Standing 'neath my own blue sky,
Such the dream you bring to me,
You delightful bird.

Bird, are you singing to me?
Ah, but the winter is near!
Then your foot will find no rest,
And the snow will be your nest;
You will seek, with beak distrest,
Food that is not here.
Faithful to our friendship I—
You may take me at my word—
Bread and milk shall greet you still
At this pleasant window-sill,
That you never yet flew by,
Darling little bird.

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Menella Bute Smedley