WHEN dandelions star the fields,
Another alien singer, I,
Nursed upon England's flowery wealds,
Seeking no tithe of treasured yields,
Drop sudden from a summer sky
To where the spangled clearing spills
Its gold about your timbered hills.
A mite in splendid motley clad,
I mark the field, I know the hour
When choicest morsels may be had;
When blooms are gay, when days are glad.
And thistledown wafts in a shower
To dance and drift and disappear,
I, who was not, am with you here.
I cling beside the thistle head,
I dance about your cattle's feet,
I revel in the banquet spread
By many a blazing yellow bed,
And feast until I am replete;
Then seek the house roof's topmost tile
To linger yet a little while.
No ingrate I, no niggard churl--
Tho' what I take you well may spare--
Ere azure skies have grown to pearl,
With many a grace-note, many a skirl,
I pay gold coin for golden fare,
And proffer an abundant fee
In long sweet bursts of melody.
The English Goldfinch
by C J Dennis (1876-1938)
The Singing Garden (1935) p.79.