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Best Famous Starling Poems

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Written by Charlotte Bronte | Create an image from this poem


 ARRANGING long-locked drawers and shelves 
Of cabinets, shut up for years, 
What a strange task we've set ourselves ! 
How still the lonely room appears ! 
How strange this mass of ancient treasures, 
Mementos of past pains and pleasures; 
These volumes, clasped with costly stone, 
With print all faded, gilding gone; 

These fans of leaves, from Indian trees­ 
These crimson shells, from Indian seas­ 
These tiny portraits, set in rings­ 
Once, doubtless, deemed such precious things; 
Keepsakes bestowed by Love on Faith, 
And worn till the receiver's death, 
Now stored with cameos, china, shells, 
In this old closet's dusty cells.
I scarcely think, for ten long years, A hand has touched these relics old; And, coating each, slow-formed, appears, The growth of green and antique mould.
All in this house is mossing over; All is unused, and dim, and damp; Nor light, nor warmth, the rooms discover­ Bereft for years of fire and lamp.
The sun, sometimes in summer, enters The casements, with reviving ray; But the long rains of many winters Moulder the very walls away.
And outside all is ivy, clinging To chimney, lattice, gable grey; Scarcely one little red rose springing Through the green moss can force its way.
Unscared, the daw, and starling nestle, Where the tall turret rises high, And winds alone come near to rustle The thick leaves where their cradles lie.
I sometimes think, when late at even I climb the stair reluctantly, Some shape that should be well in heaven, Or ill elsewhere, will pass by me.
I fear to see the very faces, Familiar thirty years ago, Even in the old accustomed places Which look so cold and gloomy now.
I've come, to close the window, hither, At twilight, when the sun was down, And Fear, my very soul would wither, Lest something should be dimly shown.
Too much the buried form resembling, Of her who once was mistress here; Lest doubtful shade, or moonbeam trembling, Might take her aspect, once so dear.
Hers was this chamber; in her time It seemed to me a pleasant room, For then no cloud of grief or crime Had cursed it with a settled gloom; I had not seen death's image laid In shroud and sheet, on yonder bed.
Before she married, she was blest­ Blest in her youth, blest in her worth; Her mind was calm, its sunny rest Shone in her eyes more clear than mirth.
And when attired in rich array, Light, lustrous hair about her brow, She yonder sat­a kind of day Lit up­what seems so gloomy now.
These grim oak walls, even then were grim; That old carved chair, was then antique; But what around looked dusk and dim Served as a foil to her fresh cheek; Her neck, and arms, of hue so fair, Eyes of unclouded, smiling, light; Her soft, and curled, and floating hair, Gems and attire, as rainbow bright.
Reclined in yonder deep recess, Ofttimes she would, at evening, lie Watching the sun; she seemed to bless With happy glance the glorious sky.
She loved such scenes, and as she gazed, Her face evinced her spirit's mood; Beauty or grandeur ever raised In her, a deep-felt gratitude.
But of all lovely things, she loved A cloudless moon, on summer night; Full oft have I impatience proved To see how long, her still delight Would find a theme in reverie.
Out on the lawn, or where the trees Let in the lustre fitfully, As their boughs parted momently, To the soft, languid, summer breeze.
Alas ! that she should e'er have flung Those pure, though lonely joys away­ Deceived by false and guileful tongue, She gave her hand, then suffered wrong; Oppressed, ill-used, she faded young, And died of grief by slow decay.
Open that casket­look how bright Those jewels flash upon the sight; The brilliants have not lost a ray Of lustre, since her wedding day.
But see­upon that pearly chain­ How dim lies time's discolouring stain ! I've seen that by her daughter worn: For, e'er she died, a child was born; A child that ne'er its mother knew, That lone, and almost friendless grew; For, ever, when its step drew nigh, Averted was the father's eye; And then, a life impure and wild Made him a stranger to his child; Absorbed in vice, he little cared On what she did, or how she fared.
The love withheld, she never sought, She grew uncherished­learnt untaught; To her the inward life of thought Full soon was open laid.
I know not if her friendlessness Did sometimes on her spirit press, But plaint she never made.
The book-shelves were her darling treasure, She rarely seemed the time to measure While she could read alone.
And she too loved the twilight wood, And often, in her mother's mood, Away to yonder hill would hie, Like her, to watch the setting sun, Or see the stars born, one by one, Out of the darkening sky.
Nor would she leave that hill till night Trembled from pole to pole with light; Even then, upon her homeward way, Long­long her wandering steps delayed To quit the sombre forest shade, Through which her eerie pathway lay.
You ask if she had beauty's grace ? I know not­but a nobler face My eyes have seldom seen; A keen and fine intelligence, And, better still, the truest sense Were in her speaking mien.
But bloom or lustre was there none, Only at moments, fitful shone An ardour in her eye, That kindled on her cheek a flush, Warm as a red sky's passing blush And quick with energy.
Her speech, too, was not common speech, No wish to shine, or aim to teach, Was in her words displayed: She still began with quiet sense, But oft the force of eloquence Came to her lips in aid; Language and voice unconscious changed, And thoughts, in other words arranged, Her fervid soul transfused Into the hearts of those who heard, And transient strength and ardour stirred, In minds to strength unused.
Yet in gay crowd or festal glare, Grave and retiring was her air; 'Twas seldom, save with me alone, That fire of feeling freely shone; She loved not awe's nor wonder's gaze, Nor even exaggerated praise, Nor even notice, if too keen The curious gazer searched her mien.
Nature's own green expanse revealed The world, the pleasures, she could prize; On free hill-side, in sunny field, In quiet spots by woods concealed, Grew wild and fresh her chosen joys, Yet Nature's feelings deeply lay In that endowed and youthful frame; Shrined in her heart and hid from day, They burned unseen with silent flame; In youth's first search for mental light, She lived but to reflect and learn, But soon her mind's maturer might For stronger task did pant and yearn; And stronger task did fate assign, Task that a giant's strength might strain; To suffer long and ne'er repine, Be calm in frenzy, smile at pain.
Pale with the secret war of feeling, Sustained with courage, mute, yet high; The wounds at which she bled, revealing Only by altered cheek and eye; She bore in silence­but when passion Surged in her soul with ceaseless foam, The storm at last brought desolation, And drove her exiled from her home.
And silent still, she straight assembled The wrecks of strength her soul retained; For though the wasted body trembled, The unconquered mind, to quail, disdained.
She crossed the sea­now lone she wanders By Seine's, or Rhine's, or Arno's flow; Fain would I know if distance renders Relief or comfort to her woe.
Fain would I know if, henceforth, ever, These eyes shall read in hers again, That light of love which faded never, Though dimmed so long with secret pain.
She will return, but cold and altered, Like all whose hopes too soon depart; Like all on whom have beat, unsheltered, The bitter blasts that blight the heart.
No more shall I behold her lying Calm on a pillow, smoothed by me; No more that spirit, worn with sighing, Will know the rest of infancy.
If still the paths of lore she follow, 'Twill be with tired and goaded will; She'll only toil, the aching hollow, The joyless blank of life to fill.
And oh ! full oft, quite spent and weary, Her hand will pause, her head decline; That labour seems so hard and dreary, On which no ray of hope may shine.
Thus the pale blight of time and sorrow Will shade with grey her soft, dark hair Then comes the day that knows no morrow, And death succeeds to long despair.
So speaks experience, sage and hoary; I see it plainly, know it well, Like one who, having read a story, Each incident therein can tell.
Touch not that ring, 'twas his, the sire Of that forsaken child; And nought his relics can inspire Save memories, sin-defiled.
I, who sat by his wife's death-bed, I, who his daughter loved, Could almost curse the guilty dead, For woes, the guiltless proved.
And heaven did curse­they found him laid, When crime for wrath was rife, Cold­with the suicidal blade Clutched in his desperate gripe.
'Twas near that long deserted hut, Which in the wood decays, Death's axe, self-wielded, struck his root, And lopped his desperate days.
You know the spot, where three black trees, Lift up their branches fell, And moaning, ceaseless as the seas, Still seem, in every passing breeze, The deed of blood to tell.
They named him mad, and laid his bones Where holier ashes lie; Yet doubt not that his spirit groans, In hell's eternity.
But, lo ! night, closing o'er the earth, Infects our thoughts with gloom; Come, let us strive to rally mirth, Where glows a clear and tranquil hearth In some more cheerful room.

Written by Alfred Lord Tennyson | Create an image from this poem

The Progress of Spring

 THE groundflame of the crocus breaks the mould, 
Fair Spring slides hither o'er the Southern sea, 
Wavers on her thin stem the snowdrop cold 
That trembles not to kisses of the bee: 
Come Spring, for now from all the dripping eaves 
The spear of ice has wept itself away, 
And hour by hour unfolding woodbine leaves 
O'er his uncertain shadow droops the day.
She comes! The loosen'd rivulets run; The frost-bead melts upon her golden hair; Her mantle, slowly greening in the Sun, Now wraps her close, now arching leaves her bar To breaths of balmier air; Up leaps the lark, gone wild to welcome her, About her glance the ****, and shriek the jays, Before her skims the jubilant woodpecker, The linnet's bosom blushes at her gaze, While round her brows a woodland culver flits, Watching her large light eyes and gracious looks, And in her open palm a halcyon sits Patient--the secret splendour of the brooks.
Come Spring! She comes on waste and wood, On farm and field: but enter also here, Diffuse thyself at will thro' all my blood, And, tho' thy violet sicken into sere, Lodge with me all the year! Once more a downy drift against the brakes, Self-darken'd in the sky, descending slow! But gladly see I thro' the wavering flakes Yon blanching apricot like snow in snow.
These will thine eyes not brook in forest-paths, On their perpetual pine, nor round the beech; They fuse themselves to little spicy baths, Solved in the tender blushes of the peach; They lose themselves and die On that new life that gems the hawthorn line; Thy gay lent-lilies wave and put them by, And out once more in varnish'd glory shine Thy stars of celandine.
She floats across the hamlet.
Heaven lours, But in the tearful splendour of her smiles I see the slowl-thickening chestnut towers Fill out the spaces by the barren tiles.
Now past her feet the swallow circling flies, A clamorous cuckoo stoops to meet her hand; Her light makes rainbows in my closing eyes, I hear a charm of song thro' all the land.
Come, Spring! She comes, and Earth is glad To roll her North below thy deepening dome, But ere thy maiden birk be wholly clad, And these low bushes dip their twigs in foam, Make all true hearths thy home.
Across my garden! and the thicket stirs, The fountain pulses high in sunnier jets, The blackcap warbles, and the turtle purrs, The starling claps his tiny castanets.
Still round her forehead wheels the woodland dove, And scatters on her throat the sparks of dew, The kingcup fills her footprint, and above Broaden the glowing isles of vernal blue.
Hail ample presence of a Queen, Bountiful, beautiful, apparell'd gay, Whose mantle, every shade of glancing green, Flies back in fragrant breezes to display A tunic white as May! She whispers, 'From the South I bring you balm, For on a tropic mountain was I born, While some dark dweller by the coco-palm Watch'd my far meadow zoned with airy morn; From under rose a muffled moan of floods; I sat beneath a solitude of snow; There no one came, the turf was fresh, the woods Plunged gulf on gulf thro' all their vales below I saw beyond their silent tops The steaming marshes of the scarlet cranes, The slant seas leaning oll the mangrove copse, And summer basking in the sultry plains About a land of canes; 'Then from my vapour-girdle soaring forth I scaled the buoyant highway of the birds, And drank the dews and drizzle of the North, That I might mix with men, and hear their words On pathway'd plains; for--while my hand exults Within the bloodless heart of lowly flowers To work old laws of Love to fresh results, Thro' manifold effect of simple powers-- I too would teach the man Beyond the darker hour to see the bright, That his fresh life may close as it began, The still-fulfilling promise of a light Narrowing the bounds of night.
' So wed thee with my soul, that I may mark The coming year's great good and varied ills, And new developments, whatever spark Be struck from out the clash of warring wills; Or whether, since our nature cannot rest, The smoke of war's volcano burst again From hoary deeps that belt the changeful West, Old Empires, dwellings of the kings of men; Or should those fail, that hold the helm, While the long day of knowledge grows and warms, And in the heart of this most ancient realm A hateful voice be utter'd, and alarms Sounding 'To arms! to arms!' A simpler, saner lesson might he learn Who reads thy gradual process, Holy Spring.
Thy leaves possess the season in their turn, And in their time thy warblers rise on wing.
How surely glidest thou from March to May, And changest, breathing it, the sullen wind, Thy scope of operation, day by day, Larger and fuller, like the human mind ' Thy warmths from bud to bud Accomplish that blind model in the seed, And men have hopes, which race the restless blood That after many changes may succeed Life, which is Life indeed.
Written by Laurie Lee | Create an image from this poem


 Behold the apples’ rounded worlds:
juice-green of July rain,
the black polestar of flowers, the rind
mapped with its crimson stain.
The russet, crab and cottage red burn to the sun’s hot brass, then drop like sweat from every branch and bubble in the grass.
They lie as wanton as they fall, and where they fall and break, the stallion clamps his crunching jaws, the starling stabs his beak.
In each plump gourd the cidery bite of boys’ teeth tears the skin; the waltzing wasp consumes his share, the bent worm enters in.
I, with as easy hunger, take entire my season’s dole; welcome the ripe, the sweet, the sour, the hollow and the whole.
Written by Thomas Hardy | Create an image from this poem

Winter in Durnover Field

--A wide stretch of fallow ground recently sown with wheat, and frozen to iron hardness.
Three large birds walking about thereon, and wistfully eyeing the surface.
Wind keen from north-east: sky a dull grey.
(Triolet) Rook.
--Throughout the field I find no grain; The cruel frost encrusts the cornland! Starling.
--Aye: patient pecking now is vain Throughout the field, I find .
--No grain! Pigeon.
--Nor will be, comrade, till it rain, Or genial thawings loose the lorn land Throughout the field.
--I find no grain: The cruel frost encrusts the cornland!
Written by Richard Wilbur | Create an image from this poem

The Writer

 In her room at the prow of the house
Where light breaks, and the windows are tossed with linden,
My daughter is writing a story.
I pause in the stairwell, hearing >From her shut door a commotion of typewriter-keys Like a chain hauled over a gunwale.
Young as she is, the stuff Of her life is a great cargo, and some of it heavy: I wish her a lucky passage.
But now it is she who pauses, As if to reject my thought and its easy figure.
A stillness greatens, in which The whole house seems to be thinking, And then she is at it again with a bunched clamor Of strokes, and again is silent.
I remember the dazed starling Which was trapped in that very room, two years ago; How we stole in, lifted a sash And retreated, not to affright it; And how for a helpless hour, through the crack of the door, We watched the sleek, wild, dark And iridescent creature Batter against the brilliance, drop like a glove To the hard floor, or the desk-top, And wait then, humped and bloody, For the wits to try it again; and how our spirits Rose when, suddenly sure, It lifted off from a chair-back, Beating a smooth course for the right window And clearing the sill of the world.
It is always a matter, my darling, Of life or death, as I had forgotten.
I wish What I wished you before, but harder.

Written by Amy Lowell | Create an image from this poem

The Starling

 "`I can't get 
out', said the starling.
" Sterne's `Sentimental Journey'.
Forever the impenetrable wall Of self confines my poor rebellious soul, I never see the towering white clouds roll Before a sturdy wind, save through the small Barred window of my jail.
I live a thrall With all my outer life a clipped, square hole, Rectangular; a fraction of a scroll Unwound and winding like a worsted ball.
My thoughts are grown uneager and depressed Through being always mine, my fancy's wings Are moulted and the feathers blown away.
I weary for desires never guessed, For alien passions, strange imaginings, To be some other person for a day.
Written by Algernon Charles Swinburne | Create an image from this poem

A Match

 If love were what the rose is, 
And I were like the leaf, 
Our lives would grow together 
In sad or singing weather, 
Blown fields or flowerful closes, 
Green pasture or gray grief; 
If love were what the rose is, 
And I were like the leaf.
If I were what the words are, And love were like the tune, With double sound and single Delight our lips would mingle, With kisses glad as birds are That get sweet rain at noon; If I were what the words are, And love were like the tune.
If you were life, my darling, And I your love were death, We'd shine and snow together Ere March made sweet the weather With daffodil and starling And hours of fruitful breath; If you were life, my darling, And I your love were death.
If you were thrall to sorrow, And I were page to joy, We'd play for lives and seasons With loving looks and treasons And tears of night and morrow And laughs of maid and boy; If you were thrall to sorrow, And I were page to joy.
If you were April's lady, And I were lord in May, We'd throw with leaves for hours And draw for days with flowers, Till day like night were shady And night were bright like day; If you were April's lady, And I were lord in May.
If you were queen of pleasure, And I were king of pain, We'd hunt down love together, Pluck out his flying-feather, And teach his feet a measure, And find his mouth a rein; If you were queen of pleasure, And I were king of pain.
Written by Sylvia Plath | Create an image from this poem


 You said you would kill it this morning.
Do not kill it.
It startles me still, The jut of that odd, dark head, pacing Through the uncut grass on the elm's hill.
It is something to own a pheasant, Or just to be visited at all.
I am not mystical: it isn't As if I thought it had a spirit.
It is simply in its element.
That gives it a kingliness, a right.
The print of its big foot last winter, The trail-track, on the snow in our court The wonder of it, in that pallor, Through crosshatch of sparrow and starling.
Is it its rareness, then? It is rare.
But a dozen would be worth having, A hundred, on that hill-green and red, Crossing and recrossing: a fine thing! It is such a good shape, so vivid.
It's a little cornucopia.
It unclaps, brown as a leaf, and loud, Settles in the elm, and is easy.
It was sunning in the narcissi.
I trespass stupidly.
Let be, let be.
Written by David Herbert Lawrence | Create an image from this poem

A Passing Bell

 Mournfully to and fro, to and fro the trees are waving; 
What did you say, my dear?
The rain-bruised leaves are suddenly shaken, as a child
Asleep still shakes in the clutch of a sob— 
Yes, my love, I hear.
One lonely bell, one only, the storm-tossed afternoon is braving, Why not let it ring? The roses lean down when they hear it, the tender, mild Flowers of the bleeding-heart fall to the throb— It is such a little thing! A wet bird walks on the lawn, call to the boy to come and look, Yes, it is over now.
Call to him out of the silence, call him to see The starling shaking its head as it walks in the grass— Ah, who knows how? He cannot see it, I can never show it him, how it shook— Don’t disturb him, darling.
—Its head as it walked: I can never call him to me, Never, he is not, whatever shall come to pass.
No, look at the wet starling.
Written by Rg Gregory | Create an image from this poem


 a starling sat on the roof 
(i don't know how young)
croaking in an old man's voice
cross with the dapper world

after five minutes or so
it flew away - its grouse over
it was like its feathers
rough and unperturbed

i don't suppose it was educated
the other birds ignored it
it was being raucous - yes
and probably obscene

it touched me to the heart
straight out of a tale
scruffy bugger metamorphosed
(too dirty with the truth)

it saw its grub somewhere
dived before others saw it
its harshness a distraction
the eyes stayed sharp