Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE FAITHFUL BIRD, by WILLIAM COWPER



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THE FAITHFUL BIRD, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The greenhouse is my summer seat
Last Line: To liberty without.
Variant Title(s): The Faithful Friend
Subject(s): Animals; Birds


THE greenhouse is my summer seat;
My shrubs displaced from that retreat
Enjoyed the open air;
Two goldfinches, whose springtly song
Had been their mutual solace long,
Lived happy prisoners there.

They sang as blithe as finches sing
That flutter loose on golden wing,
And frolic where they list;
Strangers to liberty, 'tis true,
But that delight they never knew,
And therefore never missed.

But nature works in every breast,
With force not easily suppressed;
And Dick felt some desires,
That, after many an effort vain,
Instructed him at length to gain
A pass between his wires.

The open windows seemed to invite
The freeman to a farewell flight;
But Tom was still confined;
And Dick, although his way was clear,
Was much too generous and sincere
To leave his friend behind.

So settling on his cage, by play,
And chirp, and kiss, he seemed to say,
"You must not live alone;"--
Nor would he quit that chosen stand
Till I, with slow and cautious hand,
Returned him to his own.

O ye, who never taste the joys
Of friendship, satisfied with noise,
Fandango, ball, and rout!
Blush when I tell you how a bird
A prison with a friend preferred
To liberty without.





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