Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE SURPRISED AVOWAL, by ROBERT UNDERWOOD JOHNSON

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THE SURPRISED AVOWAL, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: When one word is spoken
Last Line: Of unimprisoned song.

WHEN one word is spoken,
When one look you see,
When you take the token,
Howe'er so slight it be,
The cage's bolt is broken,
The happy bird is free.

There is no unsaying
That love-startled word;
It were idle praying
It no more be heard;
Yet, its law obeying,
Who shall blame the bird?

What avails the mending
Where the cage was weak?
What avails the sending
Far, the bird to seek,
When every cloud is lending
Wings toward yonder peak?

Thrush, could they recapture
You to newer wrong,
How could you adapt your
Strain to suit the throng?
Gone would be the rapture
Of unimprisoned song.

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