by: Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888)

      PPOSITE my chamber window,
      On the sunny roof, at play,
      High above the city's tumult,
      Flocks of doves sit day by day.
      Shining necks and snowy bosoms,
      Little rosy, tripping feet,
      Twinkling eyes and fluttering wings,
      Cooing voices, low and sweet,--
      Graceful games and friendly meetings,
      Do I daily watch and see.
      For these happy little neighbors
      Always seem at peace to be.
      On my window-ledge, to lure them,
      Crumbs of bread I often strew,
      And, behind the curtain hiding,
      Watch them flutter to and fro.
      Soon they cease to fear the giver,
      Quick are they to feel my love,
      And my alms are freely taken
      By the shyest little dove.
      In soft flight, they circle downward,
      Peep in through the window-pane;
      Stretch their gleaming necks to greet me,
      Peck and coo, and come again.
      Faithful little friends and neighbors,
      For no wintry wind or rain,
      Household cares or airy pastimes,
      Can my loving birds restrain.
      Other friends forget, or linger,
      But each day I surely know
      That my doves will come and leave here
      Little footprints in the snow.
      So, they teach me the sweet lesson,
      That the humblest may give
      Help and hope, and in so doing,
      Learn the truth by which we live;
      For the heart that freely scatters
      Simple charities and loves,
      Lures home content, and joy, and peace,
      Like a soft-winged flock of doves.

"My Doves" is reprinted from Merry's Museum, March 1868.




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