Enamels and Cameos/The Blackbird

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
For works with similar titles, see The Blackbird.
Enamels and Cameos by Théophile Gautier, translated by Frederic Cesar De Sumichrast and Agnes Lee
The Blackbird
Original title “Le Merle”

A bird from yonder branch at dawn
     Is trilling forth a joyful note,
Or hopping o’er the frozen lawn,
     In yellow boots and ebon coat.

It is the blackbird credulous.
     Little of calendar knows he,
Whose soul, with sunbeams luminous,
     Sings April to the snows that be.

Rain sweeps in torrents unrepressed.
     The Arve makes dull the Rhone with mire.
The pleasant hall retains its guest
     In goodly cheer before the fire.

The mountains have their ermine on,
     Each one a mighty magistrate,
And hold grave conference upon
     A case of Winter lasting late.

The bird dries well his wing, and long,
     Despite the rains, the mists that roll,
Insists upon his little song,
     Believes in Spring with all his soul.

He softly chides the slumberous morn
     For dallying so long abed,
And bids the shivering flower forlorn
     Be bold, and raise aloft its head;

Behind the dark sees day that smiles,
     Even as behind the Holy Rod,
When bare the altar, dim the aisles,
     The child of faith beholds his God.

He trusts to Nature’s purpose high,
     Sure of her laws for here and now.
Who laughs at thy philosophy,
     Dear blackbird, is less wise than thou!