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To a Blackbird and His Mate Who Died in the Spring

 (For Kenton)

An iron hand has stilled the throats
That throbbed with loud and rhythmic glee
And dammed the flood of silver notes
That drenched the world in melody.
The blosmy apple boughs are yearning For their wild choristers' returning, But no swift wings flash through the tree.
Ye that were glad and fleet and strong, Shall Silence take you in her net? And shall Death quell that radiant song Whose echo thrills the meadow yet? Burst the frail web about you clinging And charm Death's cruel heart with singing Till with strange tears his eyes are wet.
The scented morning of the year Is old and stale now ye are gone.
No friendly songs the children hear Among the bushes on the lawn.
When babies wander out a-Maying Will ye, their bards, afar be straying? Unhymned by you, what is the dawn? Nay, since ye loved ye cannot die.
Above the stars is set your nest.
Through Heaven's fields ye sing and fly And in the trees of Heaven rest.
And little children in their dreaming Shall see your soft black plumage gleaming And smile, by your clear music blest.

by Joyce Kilmer
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