Page:All quiet along the Potomac and other poems.djvu/51

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45
THE BIRDS' CAMP-MEETING.

THE BIRDS' CAMP-MEETING.


DID you ever hear of the bird's camp-meeting?
 It was held the loveliest day of June;
Brother Blackbird wisely led the preaching,
 And Bob-o'-Lincoln led off each tune.

The Magpie, out on a circuit going,
 Declared himself a repentant sinner,
And then flew off and purloined a spoon
 That was lying close by a poor man's dinner.

The Parrot spoke with a claw uplifted,
 And told them a story as old as sin,
And exceeding dull; so the brethren whispered,
 And voted it an unmeaning din.

Kingfisher came from the reedy meadow,
 Piping a measure that nobody knew,
Till Robert-o'-Lincoln was quite discouraged
 Before the singer was halfway through.

A Cuckoo told, with a sound of crying,
 How slyly a Starling's nest she stole,
And that ever since she had been bemoaning
 The weary weight on her burdened soul.

Then Elder Raven his head shook sadly;
 He "hoped the bird might in earnest be;
But he didn't know; there had been confession
 So oft before this— Well, we would see."