THE DEATH OF THE LAST ENGLISH SPARROW a Poem
THE DEATH OF THE LAST ENGLISH SPARROW
THE song-birds rejoice in valley and wood,
For the sparrows have gone, that pestilent brood;
The meadow-lark warbles his paeans of praise,
Robin-redbreast is sweet with his jubilant lays.
The blue-birds that perch on the old garden gate
And the little brown wrens now with joy are elate,
The blackbirds with musical chatter declare,
As their hovering pinions circle in air,
That the fierce, fighting sparrows no longer molest,
To sting with their bills or harrow the nest;
And no longer in orchard or green forest glade
Will the haunts of the innocent warblers invade.
The cat-birds that lurk where the thickets are dim,
The martins that round the barn gables now skim;
The swallows that feed on the insects of air,
The humming-birds brilliant as emeralds rare;
The oriole splendid with purple and gold,
The bright little yellow-birds, fair to behold;
The gay bobolink, whose minstrelsy flows
Like the bubbling brook thro' the meadow that goes;
The brown thrush, that hermit of deep solitudes,
The lone chicadee that chirps in the woods;—
All these native harpists, a musical band,
Rejoice that the sparrow is dead in the land!
These foreign invaders all scorn'd a fat slug,—
Scorn'd army worm, Hessian-fly, forest-moth, bug;
Would not feast on the insects that poison the fruit,
That strip the green leaves which garland the shoot.
But stain'd are their bills with the blood of the grape
Whose clusters of nectar the trellises drape;
They feed on the strawberries, luscious and red,
And on all of the sweets of the garden are fed;
On the round ruddy globes of the peach-tree, that fills
With fragrance the air as the honey distils;
On the brown juicy pears that burst as they fall,
On the sweet purple plums that droop o'er the wall;
On the cherries ambrosial, whose clustering gems
Clasp and crown the light twigs with rare diadems.
But now since the sparrows have met with their doom,
The harvests may flourish, the gardens may bloom.
Yes! now the broad acres of ripening grain
May brighten in sunshine and freshen in rain;
The fruits of the orchard their treasures may store,
The song-birds may warble as ever of yore,
For the sparrows will rob and molest never more.
McLellan, Isaac. Poems of the Rod and Gun. New York: Henry Thorpe, 1886.
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