Robin on a leafless bough,
Lord in Heaven, how he sings!
Now cold Winter’s cruel Wind
Makes playmates of withered things.
How he sings for joy this morn !
How his breast doth pant and glow!
Look you how he stands and sings,
Half-way up his legs in snow!
I hear leaves drinking rain;
I hear rich leaves on top
Giving the poor beneath
Drop after drop;
’Tis a sweet noise to hear
These green leaves drinking near.
And when the Sun comes out,
After this Rain shall stop,
A wondrous Light will fill
Each dark, round drop;
I hope the Sun shines bright;
’Twill be a lovely sight.
I sit beneath your leaves, old oak,
You mighty one of all the trees;
Knowing thou hast not known such shame,
And only storms have come thy way,
Methinks I could in comfort spend
My summer with thee, day by day.
To lie by day in thy green shade,
And in thy hollow rest at night;
And through the open doorway see
The stars turn over leaves of light.
Is it not fine to walk in spring,
When leaves are born, and hear birds sing?
And when they lose their singing powers,
In summer, watch the bees at flowers?
Is it not fine, when summer’s past,
To have the leaves, no longer fast,
Biting my heel where’er I go,
Or dancing lightly on my toe?
Now winter’s here and rivers freeze;
As I walk out I see the trees,
Wherein the pretty squirrels sleep,
All standing in the snow so deep:
And every twig, however small,
Is blossomed white and beautiful.
Then welcome, winter, with thy power
To make this tree a big white flower;
To make this tree a lovely sight,
With fifty brown arms draped in white,
While thousands of small fingers show
In soft white gloves of purest snow.