Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AN EARLY CARDINAL SINGS, by ELEANOR G. R. YOUNG

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First Line: Oh, gay little bird in the sycamore tree
Last Line: You opened the gates of spring for me!
Subject(s): Birds; Happiness; Singing & Singers; Joy; Delight

Oh, gay little bird in the sycamore tree,
What is the song you are singing to me?
What do you mean as you call so clearly
"Cheerio, cheerio, cheerio, cheerily"?
I think you are reminding me
From your topmost bough in the sycamore tree,
That I must be glad and joyous, too,
And let my heart sing in the way you do.

Little red bird in the sycamore tree,
Singing your message so lustily,
Do not think for a moment of teasing me;
I knew when I saw your wings flash by,
Streaking with flame the winter sky,
That soon I would see you perched on high.
I know you are calling your message of cheer
To let us all know that spring is near.

But, jocund red bird, have a special care—
I have tiny blue scillas that, if they hear
Your "cheerio, cheerio, cheer, cheer, cheer!"
Might be foolish enough to come peeping through
The moist, still earth, just to listen to you.
But little red bird, even though they do,
My heart's all a-thrill at seeing you.
And hearing your joyous message, too!

I know spring trembles in every note
That sends its challenge from your slim throat:
Sing it again—your "cheer, cheer, cheerily,"
It rings in my heart so bright and merrily.
Little red bird, in the sycamore tree,
A marvelous message you bring to me.
But remember, the crocuses hear you, too;
Caution them, so they will not come through.

And remember, little red, joyous bird,
That the hyacinths and the hepaticas heard.
Oh, little red bird in the sycamore tree,
You opened the gates of spring for me!

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