Emma Lazarus

22 July 1849 – 19 November 1887 / New York City / United States

Idyl

The swallows made twitter incessant,
The thrushes were wild with their mirth.
The ways and the woods were made pleasant,
And the flowering nooks of the earth.
And the sunshine sufficed to rejoice me,
And the air was as bracing as wine,
And the sky and the shadows and grasses
Were enough to make living divine.

Then I saw on the ground two gray robins,
One with glorious flame-colored vest,
'Neath the shade of some delicate bluebells,
By the breeze of the morning caressed.
They were singing of love in the shadow;
She was bashful, and modest, and coy,
And he sang to her tenderest love-songs,
And madrigals full of his joy.

And his song came forth clearer and clearer,
With each passionate, musical note;
Like the ripple of silvery waters,
It gushed from his beautiful throat.
His whole little bird-soul he offers,—
Ah! she listens to him as he sings:
Then he ceases, awaiting her answer,
With bright eyes and with quivering wings.

And I, too, stood awaiting it, breathless,
For his song was too sweet to disdain,
Till it came, little notes full of gladness,
With a plaintive and tender refrain.
And the songs died away in the distance,
And the forest alone heard the rest,
As the two little lovers flew upward,
To build them together a nest.
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