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Yellow Warbler


O yellow warbler—yellow warbler,

You are so enchantingly dear!

Spilling over with tropical sunshine

In May when you bring us your cheer.


In the first golden leaves of the willows,

Where the thickets are budding new green,

It’s there you raise your sweet and spare song

And your miniature splendor is seen.


And the eye that sunspots your luster,

So meltingly wakeful and round!—

That’s so like the eye of a child’s

In our own a tear may be found.


O yellow warbler—yellow warbler,

How can it be here you are living?

On this bitter and uncaring Earth,

So cruel and so unforgiving?


You don’t break the heart of the hawk

That plummets at you from the sky;

When seas you cross are raging with storms,

There’s no tear in the hurricane’s eye.


You’re a creature of hunger and fear,

Of animal dread and desire,

And our desperate dreams of your dearness,

They burn like dross in your fire.


O yellow warbler—yellow warbler!

It hurts the heart and it’s true:

There’s the so very dear yellow warbler,

And then, yellow warbler, there’s you.



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