Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO THE GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW IN ALASKA, by JOHN BURROUGHS

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TO THE GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW IN ALASKA, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Oh, minstrel of these borean hills
Last Line: Between thy home and mine.
Subject(s): Alaska; Nature; Sparrows

Oh, minstrel of these borean hills,
Where twilight hours are long,
I would my boyhood's fragrant days
Had known thy plaintive song,

Had known thy vest of ashen gray,
Thy coat of drab and brown,
The bands of jet upon thy head,
That clasp thy golden crown.

We heard thee in the cold White Pass,
Where cloud and mountain meet,
Again where Muir's great glacier shone
Far spread beneath our feet.

I bask me now on emerald heights
To catch thy faintest strain;
But cannot tell if in thy lay
Be more of joy or pain.

Far off behold the snow-white peaks
Athwart the sea's blue shade;
Anear there rise green Kodiak hills,
Wherein thy nest is made.

I hear the wild bee's mellow chord,
In airs that swim above;
The lesser hermit tunes his flute,
To solitude and love.

But thou, sweet singer of the wild,
I give more heed to thee;
Thy wistful not of fond regret
Strikes deeper chords in me.

Farewell, dear bird, I turn my face
To other skies than thine;
A thousand leagues of land and sea
Between thy home and mine.

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