Page:All quiet along the Potomac and other poems.djvu/164

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158 THE FRIEND IN SHADOW.

Of journeys made to ether blue On ladders made of silver dew ; The cat-bird, in his sober coat, Mimicked and stole each liquid note; The housewife, Jenny, brushed her nest With dusky feathers from her breast, Chirping the while a tune to me To say how happy she should be ; The blue-bird, ending flight and wheel, Flashed close his wing of azure steel, Flinging from out his vibrant throat Quiver and trill and mellow note.

So all the birds made friends, but one. A sober creature, brown and dun, Looked at me dumbly from the shade, But not one word of greeting said, Nor welcomed me, nor said adieu, As down the dim green aisles he flew.

��In sombre night, with drooping head,

My heart as heavy as my tread,

I came to hear what they would say,

These friends who sang the roundelay.

Hist ! not one note for good or ill,

No cadence soft, no joyous thrill,

From those who said they loved me well

Before the Shadow round me fell.

The cricket s chirp, the night-wind s moan,

Seemed saying softly o er, " Alone !"

�� �