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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Thomas Aird 1802–76

The Swallow

THE SWALLOW, bonny birdie, comes sharp twittering o’er the sea,

And gladly is her carol heard for the sunny days to be;

She shares not with us wintry glooms, but yet, no faithless thing,

She hunts the summer o’er the earth with wearied little wing.

The lambs like snow all nibbling go upon the ferny hills;

Light winds are in the leafy woods, and birds, and bubbling rills;

Then welcome, little swallow, by our morning lattice heard,

Because thou com’st when Nature bids bright days be thy reward!

Thine be sweet mornings with the bee that ’s out for honey-dew;

And glowing be the noontide for the grass-hopper and you;

And mellow shine, o’er day’s decline, the sun to light thee home:

What can molest thy airy nest? sleep till the day-spring come!

The river blue that rushes through the valley hears thee sing,

And murmurs much beneath the touch of thy light-dipping wing.

The thunder-cloud, over us bowed, in deeper gloom is seen,

When quick reliev’d it glances to thy bosom’s silvery sheen.

The silent Power, that brought thee back with leading-strings of love

To haunts where first the summer sun fell on thee from above,

Shall bind thee more to come aye to the music of our leaves,

For here thy young, where thou hast sprung, shall glad thee in our eaves.