Poetry of Kansas

The Thrush.

        Through half a June day's flight,
Upon the prairie, thirsting for the showers
        The cactus-blooms and prickly poppies white,
The fox-gloves and the pink-tinged thimble-flowers
        Drooped in the Lord's great light.
        Now suddenly, straight to the topmost spray
Of a wild plum-tree (I thereunder lying)
        Darted a thrush and fifed his roundelay
Whimsey on whimsey, not a stave denying.
        Quoth I: "From regions measureless miles
He hears the soughing winds and rain-clouds flying;
        And gathering sounds my duller ears refuse,
              He sets the rills a-rush
        This way and that to ripple me the news
(Right proud to have his little singing say!)
And brings the Joy to pass with prophesying."
        So gladly trilled the thrush!
        Soon was I made aware
Of his small mate that from the Judas-tree
        Dropped softly, flitting here and flitting there,
And would not seem to hear or seem to see.
        He, in that upper air,
All mindful of her wayward wandering,
        (Primrose and creamy-petaled larkspur bend-
And yellow blossomed nettle, prone to sting!)
        Shook out his red-brown wings as for descend-
But lightly settled back, the more to sing.
"O bird!" I sighed, "thy heedless love befriending
        With that celestial song-burst__whirling swift
              As Phaeton's chariot-rush!
        Should my dear angel's voice so downward
Quick would my music-lifted soul take wing!"
Now had earth's happiest song a heavenly ending,__
        Sped, with his mate, the thrush.

__Amanda T. Jones.

Willard Wattles
(Lawrence: The World Company. 1914)
Pages 93-94

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September 23, 2002 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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