Page:All quiet along the Potomac and other poems.djvu/52

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46
THE BIRDS' CAMP-MEETING.


A Redbird came in his crimson jacket,
 With silvery speeches and flowing words,
And his sermons all had exceeding power
 Among the ranks of the lady birds.

And then commenced quite a disaffection;
 Turmoil and struggle and strife ensued:
The Blackbird spoke of his accents sharply,
 And Redbird declared he was old and rude.

The Owls and Hawks with the Blackbird sided,
 The Sparrow picked at the crimson coat,
Until all the birds clamored loud together,
 Each one with his most discordant note.
 

Then Bob-o'-Lincoln, the wise old singer,
 Resolved to conquer this threatening phase,
Proclaimed at once that the birds should mingle
 Their voices loud in a song of praise.

* * * *


Up through the fragrant forest arches,
 Afloat on breezes cloudward sent,
There rose a great, unequalled anthem
 Above the green camp-meeting tent.

And quite forgotten ere 'twas ended
 Were all the causes of complaint,
Till ugly Owl and sullen Raven
 Grew peaceful each as patient saint.

A happy thought for birds or people
 Who into hapless quarrels fall—