Mary Hannay Foott
The Belated Swallow
And the birds of the air have nests.”
Belated swallow, whither flying?
The day is dead, the light is dying,
The night draws near:
Where is thy nest, slow put together,
Soft-lined with moss and downy feather,
For shelter-place in stress of weather
And darkness drear?
Past, past, above the lighted city,
Unknowing of my wondering pity,
Seaward she flies.
Alas, poor bird! what rude awaking
Has driven thee forth, when storms are breaking,
And frightened gulls the waves forsaking
With warning cries?
Alas, my soul! while leaves are greenest
Thy heedless head thou fondly screenest
Beneath thy wing.
How bravely thou thy plumage wearest,
How lightly thou life's burthen bearest,
How happily thy home preparest,
In careless spring!
Yet Destiny the hour may bring thee
When none of all that sing can sing thee
To joy or rest!
When all the winds that blow shall blow thee;
And, ere the floods shall overflow thee,
The sunlight linger but to show thee
Thy shattered nest
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(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(August 19, 1902 – May 19, 1971)
Edwin Arlington Robinson
(22 December 1869 – 6 April 1935)
(2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
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