SEARCHING for strawberries ready to eat, 

Finding them fragrant, large and sweet, 

What do you think I found at my feet,

Deep in the green hill-side? 

Four brown sparrows, the cunning things, 

Feathered on hack, and breast, and wings, 

Proud with the dignity plumage brings, 

Opening their four mouths wide.

Stooping lower to watch my prize, 

Watching their motions with eager eyes, 

Dropping my berries with glad surprise,

A plaintive cry I heard; 

And looking up at the mournful call, 

I spied on a branch, near the old stone wall,

The poor little mother bird.

With grief and terror her heart was wrung. 

And while to the slender bough she clung, 

She felt that the lives of her birdlings hung

On a still more slender thread. 

"Ah, birdie," I said, "If you only knew 

That my heart was tender, warm and true!" 

But the thought that I loved her birdlings too,

Never entered her small, brown head.

And so through this world of ours we go, 

Bearing our burdens of needless woe, 

Many a heart beating heavy and slow

Under its load of care; 

But oh, if we only, only knew 

That God was tender, and warm, and true, 

And that he loved us through and through,

Our hearts would be lighter than they are.