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

Charles Tennyson Turner 1808–79

The Vacant Cage

OUR little bird in his full day of health

With his gold-coated beauty made us glad,

And when disease approach’d with cruel stealth,

A sadder interest our smiles forbad.

How oft we watch’d him, when the night hours came,

His poor head buried near his bursting heart,

Which beat within a puff’d and troubled frame;

But he has gone at last, and play’d his part:

The seed-glass, slighted by his sickening taste,

The little moulted feathers, saffron-tipp’d,

The fountain, where his fever’d bill was dipp’d,

The perches, which his failing feet embraced,

All these remain—not even his bath remov’d—

But where ’s the spray and flutter that we lov’d?