George Meredith

(12 February 1828 – 18 May 1909 / Portsmouth, England)

To Robin Redbreast


Merrily 'mid the faded leaves,
O Robin of the bright red breast!
Cheerily over the Autumn eaves,
Thy note is heard, bonny bird;
Sent to cheer us, and kindly endear us
To what would be a sorrowful time
Without thee in the weltering clime:
Merry art thou in the boughs of the lime,
While thy fadeless waistcoat glows on thy breast,
In Autumn's reddest livery drest.

A merry song, a cheery song!
In the boughs above, on the sward below,
Chirping and singing the live day long,
While the maple in grief sheds its fiery leaf,
And all the trees waning, with bitter complaining,
Chestnut, and elm, and sycamore,
Catch the wild gust in their arms, and roar
Like the sea on a stormy shore,
Till wailfully they let it go,
And weep themselves naked and weary with woe.

Merrily, cheerily, joyously still
Pours out the crimson-crested tide.
The set of the season burns bright on the hill,
Where the foliage dead falls yellow and red,
Picturing vainly, but foretelling plainly
The wealth of cottage warmth that comes
When the frost gleams and the blood numbs,
And then, bonny Robin, I'll spread thee out crumbs
In my garden porch for thy redbreast pride,
The song and the ensign of dear fireside.

Submitted: Thursday, April 15, 2010

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