Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

(7 September 1876 - 22 June 1938 / Auburn, South Australia)

Grey Thrush At The Door - Poem by Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

'Swe-e-et! Swe-e-et!' Low at first and flattering,
Full of soft seductiveness on a wheedling note.
Who comes in mercy now, crumbs of comfort scattering
For a grey bird pleading from a cold, cold throat?
Just a thread of tallow-fat, just a scrap of meat!
Grey thrush is at the door. 'Swe-e-et! Swe-e-et!'

Grey bird, friendly bird, merry bird in summer time,
For summer is a merry time, full of tuneful mirth.
Sunny days are singing days. But winter is a glummer time
With lean days of scant fare; frost has locked the earth.
Song goes as sun goes, and harshly drives the sleet.
Where comes the almoner? 'Swe-e-et! Swe-e-et!'

'Sweet! Sweet!' Now it grows imperious:
A short call, a loud call, impatience in its tone.
Why am I left lingering? See, my plight is serious.
A poor bird all forlorn, starving and alone.
Grey Thrush is a-hungering, begging scraps to eat.
It's far beyond my breakfast time! 'Sweet! Sweet!'

Now a footstep on the floor. Now a sudden fluttering,
And Grey Thrush is waiting there beside the open door.
Kookaburra cocks an eye; greedily he's muttering;
But grey bird is first to swoop upon the proffered store,
A scrap of song in gratitude, then up, and off, away.
And the mendicant has vanished till another frosty day.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, August 28, 2012

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