George A. Mackenzie

(20 July 1849-1899 / Toronto)

To A Humming-Bird - Poem by George A. Mackenzie

Thou vagrant melody, light crown
Of rainbow mist above the flower,
Rifler, with touch like thistledown,
Of blooms that meekly yield their dower
Of sweets to thy soft and yet imperious power,

Gay, flashing, flickering, fairy thing,
Embodied zephyr, shimmering sound,
Whence hast thou come on gauzy wing
To my straight plot of city ground?
Whence hast thou come and whither art thou bound?

Hast thou been where the Northern wave
Breaks half the year on coasts of snow?
Hast thou flashed on the dreary cave
Of the squat, stolid Eskimo
With the keen splendour of thy tropic glow?

And now, thy merry summer jaunt
Completed, dost thou wisely fare
Homeward, to some safe jungle haunt,
Whither 'mid close-locked boughs repair
Strange feathered things of plumage rich and rare?

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I marvel at thy countless leagues
Of travel; how, secure from harm,
Thou bravest perils and fatigues;
I marvel how thy tiny form
Weathers the drenching rain, the driving storm.

Thou art fled! my garden seems bereft
Of all its beauty! yet some sense
Of joy and blessing thou hast left
Behind thee, as a recompense,
Which shall remain when thou art flown far hence.

A sense of joy, that He whose hand
Shaped thee and all things sweet and fair,
Hath pleasure in the thing He planned;
A sense of trust, in Him whose care
Pilots thy course through the uncharted air.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, May 9, 2012

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