Page:All quiet along the Potomac and other poems.djvu/233

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THE CHRISTMAS SHEAF. 22/

��THE CHRISTMAS SHEAF.

��was pitiful, querulous chirping 1 Of snow-birds astir in the tree, Which Winter Wind kindly translated, And whistled in rhythm to me.

" O mother-bird dear, we are hungry,

Your poor, weary nestlings are faint ; How is it, O mother-bird, darling, You chirrup no sound of complaint?"

" My birdlings, away in the forest,

Where searching for food had been vain, I crouched in my desolate sorrow To murmur and chide and complain.

"Just then came a little brown singer,

That hopped on the twig at my side, And for answer to me and my wailing She chirruped, The Lord will provide.

I see no provision, I murmured;

The fruits are all gathered and gone, The grain has been reaped in the valley, The frost nightly silvers the lawn.

So, patient one, how can He feed us, Since beautiful summer has died ?

And still she sang softly for answer This burden, The Lord will provide.

�� �