THEY know me not to praise and love aright,
Who only pause to mark my headlong flight--
A swift and slender crescent wheeling by
Athwart Spring's softly amaranthine sky,
And yet am I
Named "Welcome," joyously by even these
Who, missing all my soft amenities,
Still speak the words that ever heartened men,
And say, "The swallows have come back again."
No braggart I, no shouting chorister;
But, when the bees 'mid blossoms are astir,
Into the quiet day my song is spent,
A rare, sweet minstrelsy of gladness blent
With calm content.
Content is in my pose; my tawny throat,
Swelling anew to every twittering note
Speaks to the heart of him who listens then:
"Peace reigns; the swallows have come back again."
Who knows me well could never love me less
For having sought and won my friendliness,
In my sleek coat of unsuspected hues--
Russet and fawn and darkly gleaming blues--
I bring glad news,
Bland harbinger of hope; to him who grieves
I chirp my message from the sunlit eaves.
And, with the sun returning, turn from men
Fate's frown. "The swallows have come back again."
The Welcome Swallow
by C J Dennis (1876-1938)
The Singing Garden (1935) p.31.