Page:All quiet along the Potomac and other poems.djvu/35

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29
GIVEN, NOT HIRED.

GIVEN, NOT HIRED.


WE hire the roof above our heads,
And walls to gird us round,
The garden-walk, the drooping vine,
 The rose, and blossom-mound;
But, oh that streak of sunset sky
 Between the budding trees,
The moonlight on the little porch,—
 Whom shall we pay for these?

We have musicians too all day,
 Whose flutes we did not bring;
An oriole trills all the while,
 And saucy robins sing;
While in the bush of evergreen
 A cat-bird, gray and shy,
A solo gives. Who pays the birds
 For all these songs ? Not I.

Just when the twilight turns to dusk,
 And reveries are sweet,
A piping voice, exceeding small,
 Sounds by my idle feet,
And bids me listen to its tale
 Of home and household fire—
Our cricket that we did not bring,
 The song we did not hire.

The summer wind that lifts the leaves,
 To whisper soft and low