Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE VESPER SPARROW, by JOHN BURROUGHS



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THE VESPER SPARROW, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Dear minstrel of the twilight fields
Last Line: Till skies are filled with morning light.
Subject(s): Sparrows


Dear minstrel of the twilight fields,
Whose voice from out a tranquil breast
In vesper hymn sweet solace yields
When closing day invites to rest,
"Peace, good-will," and then good-night,
While toil and care now take their flight.

Now rests thy form close to the ground,
Or perched upon a warm gray stone
As upward floats this lulling sound,
Cheering thy mate who sits alone,
"Peace, good-will," and then to rest,
With loving thoughts of mate and nest.

Thy nest is hidden in the grass,
If blending colors be to hide --
Like raindrop resting on the glass,
Or darting grayling in the tide.
"Peace, good-will," then close the eye
Which fades the light in western sky.

The shadows deepen 'neath the hills,
I breathe the breath of summer nights --
The pastoral fragrance that o'erspill
These gently sloping grassy heights.
"Peace,, good-will," then fold the wings
Till morrow's sun new gladness brings.

Thy vespers rise from near and far
When groves are hushed and meadows mute;
Sometimes I watch a single bar
Like wandering notes from silver flute.
"Peace, good-will," warms broods the night
While moon and stars shed silvery light.

A bleating lamb just stirs the hush
That soft is stealing o'er the scene;
Then faintly comes the roar and rush
Of distant train the hills between
"Peace, good-will," and do not fear,
Thy watchful mate is ever near.

Now all is still, the day is done,
Thy head is tucked beneath the wing,
A silver web by Luna spun
O'er all the hills is glistening.
"Peace, good-will," and then good-night
Till skies are filled with morning light.





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