Snow Birds



THE frost is thick upon the pane—

Such pretty frost, all starry-bright!

The ground is white, without a stain,

For it was snowing hard all night.

It is too deep for me to play,

Yet there are birds enjoying it;

I see them hop and dive and flit.

Dear little birds, why did you stay!

Were you less wise than all the rest

Who southward flew so long ago?

Or did you love, each one, his nest,

So much you could not leave them so?

Did no one tell the easy way

Which leads to summer bloom and sun,

Open to all, forbidden to none

Dear little birds, why did you stay?

Your homes are full of drifted sleet,

The ice-hung boughs are cold and bare;

The woods hold nothing good to eat,

There is not one red berry there;

Yet there you twitter, loud and gay,

As though you knew not care nor fear,

Hopping and flying there and here.

Dear little birds, why did you stay?

My mother says God is so good

He loves each bird, however small,

And thinks of him and gives him food.

How strange he can remember all!

Was it for this that, unafraid,

You lingered, trusting in his care,

When all the world was cold and bare?

Dear little bird, I'm glad you stayed.




Susan Coolidge,


in The Independent.