The Poet to the Birds
You bid me hold my peace,
   Or so I think, you birds; you’ll not forgive
My kill-joy song that makes the wild song cease,
   Silent or fugitive.
Yon thrush stopt in mid-phrase
   At my mere footfall; and a longer note
Took wing and fled afield, and went its ways
   Within the blackbird’s throat.
Hereditary song,
   Illyrian lark and Paduan nightingale,
Is yours, unchangeable the ages long;
   Assyria heard your tale;
Therefore you do not die.
   But single, local, lonely, mortal, new,
Unlike, and thus like all my race, am I,
   Preluding my adieu.
My human song must be
   My human thought. Be patient till ’tis done.
I shall not hold my little peace; for me
   There is no peace but one.

Webpage © 2001 ELC
Lane Core Jr. (
Created April 14, 2001; not revised.