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PAGE 3

To Some Birds Flown Away
by [?]

Then if to see my verses burn,
Should seem to you a pleasant turn,
Take them to freely tear away
Or burn. But, oh! not so I’d say,
If this were Mery’s room to-day.
That noble poet! Happy town,
Marseilles the Greek, that him doth own!
Daughter of Homer, fair to see,
Of Virgil’s son the mother she.
To you I’d say, Hold, children all,
Let but your eyes on his work fall;
These papers are the sacred nest
In which his crooning fancies rest;
To-morrow winged to Heaven they’ll soar,
For new-born verse imprisoned still
In manuscript may suffer sore
At your small hands and childish will,
Without a thought of bad intent,
Of cruelty quite innocent.
You wound their feet, and bruise their wings,
And make them suffer those ill things
That children’s play to young birds brings.

But mine! no matter what you do,
My poetry is all in you;
You are my inspiration bright
That gives my verse its purest light.
Children whose life is made of hope,
Whose joy, within its mystic scope,
Owes all to ignorance of ill,
You have not suffered, and you still
Know not what gloomy thoughts weigh down
The poet-writer weary grown.
What warmth is shed by your sweet smile!
How much he needs to gaze awhile
Upon your shining placid brow,
When his own brow its ache doth know;
With what delight he loves to hear
Your frolic play ‘neath tree that’s near,
Your joyous voices mixing well
With his own song’s all-mournful swell!
Come back then, children! come to me,
If you wish not that I should be
As lonely now that you’re afar
As fisherman of Etretat,
Who listless on his elbow leans
Through all the weary winter scenes,
As tired of thought–as on Time flies–
And watching only rainy skies!

Translated by MRS. NEWTON CROSLAND.