Home  »  library  »  Song  »  Charles Sprague (1791–1875)

C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Charles Sprague (1791–1875)

The Winged Worshipers

To Two Swallows in a Church

GAY, guiltless pair!

What seek ye from the fields of heaven?

Ye have no need of prayer,

Ye have no sins to be forgiven.

Why perch ye here,

Where mortals to their Maker bend?

Can your pure spirits fear

The God ye never could offend?

Ye never knew

The crimes for which we come to weep;

Penance is not for you,

Blest wanderers of the upper deep!

To you ’tis given

To wake sweet Nature’s untaught lays;

Beneath the arch of heaven

To chirp away a life of praise.

Then spread each wing,

Far, far above, o’er lakes and lands,

And join the choirs that sing

In yon blue dome not reared with hands;

Or, if ye stay

To note the consecrated hour,

Teach me the airy way,

And let me try your envied power!

Above the crowd

On upward wings could I but fly,

I’d bathe in yon bright cloud,

And seek the stars that gem the sky.

’Twere heaven indeed,

Through fields of trackless light to soar,

On Nature’s charms to feed,

And Nature’s own great God adore.