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Ruby-crowned Kinglet


The ruby-crowned kinglet—we know him best

From his royal tour of the Middle West,

When he follows all the May nymph florists

From the southern coast to the boreal forests.

And to see his verve and to hear his story

Is to come a Whig but to leave a Tory—

Though who’s so loyal to forget

He only rules a kingdomlet,

For any more a mite and he

A hummingbird would have to be.


This midget circus gymnast, not quite an ounce,

He flits through trees and tests each twig for bounce,

His white-ringed eyes out for the worm or beetle

Surprised among the buds and leafage fetal;

And though he’s stripped down to his gray-white singlet

He still is every inch (of all three inches) kinglet;

 But where’s the crown of ruby red

That Adam spied upon his head—

Was it stolen or somewhere put down,

Our tiny liege’s scarlet crown?


See, that’s what makes him so imperial:

His crown’s a Mohawk he can raise at will!

It’s hid until there’s fear or irritation

And then we’re witness to his coronation.

Now some have deemed that crown we glimpse our lord in

More like the crowning work of Lizzie Borden,

But that I’d say is far from fair

To his winning sleight of flaming hair—

There’s no doubt you would still be cool

If you’d learned that trick yourself in school.


Long live the kinglet!  With his crown so coy

And his royal decree of what has to be joy—

You’ve likely heard his See see see Sue sue sue

 Chifferry chifferry chifferry too.

This micro-saltimbanque—he's got some chops!

And while he sings his hopping never stops.

I wish he’d stick around this year

And do his summer reigning here,

But he’s northbound to his castle and

His queenlet in the timberland.



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