Birds: Why Are Ye Silent?

Why are ye silent
Birds where do ye fly
Winters not violent
Wi such a spring sky
The wheatlands are green snow & frost is away
Birds why are ye silent on such a sweet day

By the slated pigstye
The red breast whispers
Where brown leave's lye
The hedge sparrow lispers
But why is the chaffinch and bullfinch so still
While the sulphur primroses bedeck the wood hill


The bright yellowhammers
Are strutting about
All still and none stammers
A single note out
From the hedge starts the Blackbird at brookside to drink
I thought he'd have whistled but he only said prink


The tree creeper hustles
Up firs rusty bark
All silent he bustles
We needn't say hark
There's no song in the forest in field or in wood
Though the sun gilds the grass as tho' come in for good


February the tenth and
Even sparrows scarce chirp
The lark in the bents ran
And dodging round whirp
All silent they winnow o'er grass i the glen
Then drop like a stone i' the stibbles agen


How bright the odd daisies
Peep under the stubbs
How bright pilewort blazes
Where riddled sheep rubs
The old willow trunk by the side o' the brook
Where soon for Blue Violets the children will look


By the cot green and mossy
Feed sparrows and hens
On the ridge brown and glossy
They chirp now and then
The wren cocks his tail oer his back by the sty
Where his green bottle nest will be made by & by


Here's bunches o chickweed
Wi' small starry flow'rs
Where Red caps oft pick seed
From weeds in Spring hours
And Blue Cap and Black Cap in glossy spring coat
A peeping in buds wi' out singing a note


Why silent? should birds be
And sunshine so warm
Larks hide where the herds be
By cottage and farm
If wild flowers were blooming & fully set in the Spring
Maybe all the Birdies would cheerfully sing —
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