THE RETURN OF THE GOLDFINCHES
by: Sylvia Lynd
- E are much
honoured by your choice,
- O golden birds of silver voice,
- That in our garden you should find
- A pleasaunce to your mind--
- The painted pear of all our trees,
- The south slope towards the gooseberries
- Where all day long the sun is warm--
- Combining use with charm.
- Did the pink tulips take your eye?
- Or Breach's barn secure and high
- To guard you from some chance mishap
- Of gales through Shoreham gap?
- First you were spied a flighting pair
- Flashing and fluting here and there,
- Until in stealth the nest was made
- And graciously you stayed.
- Now when I pause beneath your tree
- An anxious head peeps down at me,
- A crimson jewel in its crown,
- I looking up, you down:--
- I wonder if my stripey shawl
- Seems pleasant in your eyes at all,
- I can assure you that your wings
- Are most delightful things.
- Sweet birds, I pray, be not severe,
- Do not deplore our presence here,
- We cannot all be goldfinches
- In such a world as this.
- The shaded lawn, the bordered flowers,
- We'll call them yours instead of ours,
- The pinks and the acacia tree
- Shall own your sovereignty.
- And, if you let us, we will prove
- Our lowly and obsequious love,
- And when your little grey-pates hatch
- We'll help you to keep watch.
- No prowling stranger cats shall come
- About your high celestial home,
- With dangerous sounds we'll chase them hence
- And ask no recompense.
- And he, the Ethiope of our house,
- Slayer of beetle and of mouse,
- Huge, lazy, fond, whom we love well--
- Peter shall wear a bell.
- Believe me, birds, you need not fear,
- No cages or limed twigs are here,
- We only ask to live with you
- In this green garden, too.
- And when in other shining summers
- Our place is taken by new-comers,
- We'll leave them with the house and hill
- The goldfinches' good will.
- Your dainty flights, your painted coats,
- The silver mist that is your notes,
- And all your sweet caressing ways
- Shall decorate their days.
- And never will the thought of spring
- Visit our minds, but a gold wing
- Will flash among the green and blue,
- And we'll remember you.
POEMS BY SYLVIA LYND
'The Return of the Goldfinches'
is reprinted from An Anthology of Modern Verse. Ed. A.
Methuen. London: Methuen & Co., 1921.