NOW upon the trellis sitting,
Now along the fencetop flitting,
Meekly modest in my attitudes and poses;
'Neath my breast incarnadine
Can this midget heart of mine
Hold one half the vanity my song discloses?
First a nervous little flutter,
Now a chirp and now a stutter,
Then I lift my snow-flecked crown to the refrain
Of my plaintive little ditty:
"Oh, the pity! What a pity!
Oh, and isn't it a pity my poor Jenny is so plain!"
See, my burning front of flame
Puts the crimson rose to shame;
And my singing leads the chorus of the morning;
But my silent little mate,
Mute upon the garden gate,
Sober jenny, hasn't any such adorning.
Tho' I'm handsomer than others,
Do not think I boast, my brothers;
I'm the meekest little chorister a-wing.
Still, I'm tuneful, wise and witty,
Can you doubt, who hears my ditty?
"Ah, but isn't it a pity that my Jenny cannot sing!"
The Flame-Breasted Robin
by C J Dennis (1876-1938)
The Singing Garden (1935) p.39.
Male Flame Robin.