To a Sparrow Aloft

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To a Sparrow Aloft

Postby pitchford » Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:07 pm

A-wing in the azure-lands bright,
Hung trembling aloft,
With a wingbeat erratic and light
And a feather-form soft,
Oh! how oft
Have you heavenward turned my dim, earth-sullied sight.

Do you have not a burden down-pressing
To weigh you to earth?
Have you ne’er wept the sad tears oppressing
Our kind from our birth,
Which deny us the mirth
That you flitter in blithely o’er all woes distressing?

Earth’s sorrows so spryly o’er-flying,
You surfeit on bliss;
Cloddish gravity gayly belying,
As light as a kiss,
High-wheeling, you miss
All that drags down as upward you leap, gloom-defying.

Your coin is the sun’s golden ray;
Your jewels the sapphire air
And the diamond cloudlets that play
In your storehouses – what gems more fair
Could any maid wear
When she makes herself lovely for her wedding day?

Bright-gleaming, exquisitely small
On the sweeping expanse,
How is it you fear not to fall
In your frolicsome dance?
What humble bird-sense
Lifts you high above man’s mad ambitions and vanities all?

This low world’s important and proud
Are held down by their mass,
Whilst you, insubstantial as cloud,
Outstrip all their class;
At your ease you surpass
Those with solider, weightier virtues endowed.

We struggle and stumble below,
We sweat for our food;
Herculean tasks many we know
For each proffered good;
Whilst soaring abroad
Into heaven’s high coffers you effortless go.

We scamper and scurry like mice,
Ne’er know unprofaned rest,
Heap up baubles that fade in a trice,
Fall in love with the least,
While the best
We glance upward to see you obtain for no price!

We tremble that Winter must come,
Store provisions in heaps;
Yet none sleeps in his well-furnished home
Like a poor sparrow sleeps!
What kind Master keeps
All the sparrows that care nothing whither they roam?

I would I could learn in full measure
Your mystery of flight,
How to feast with no fear upon pleasure,
Nor care for the night –
True delight
Unclouded by future cares – that were my treasure!

Little bird! may your flight, like an ember,
Burn this truth on my brain:
If he who watched o’er you remember
To shield you from hunger and pain,
Then how vain
Must our fret seem to him who provides and won’t slumber!
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