Littell's Living Age/Volume 127/Issue 1637/Birds of Passage

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For works with similar titles, see Birds of Passage.


Ye fugitive guests on the far foreign strand.
When seek ye again your own dear native land?
When flowers coyly peep out,
In native dales growing,
And rivulets leap out
Past alders a-blowing.
On lifted wings hither
The tiny ones hie;
None tells the way whither
Through wildering sky,
Yet surely they fly.

They find it so safely, the long sighed-for north.
Where spring both their food and their shelter holds forth.
The fountain's breast swelleth,
Refreshing the weary;
The waving branch telleth
Of pleasures so cheery;
And where the heart dreameth
'Neath midnight sun's ray.
And love scarcely deemeth,
'Mid song and 'mid play.
How long was the way.

The fortunate blithe ones, they build amid rest,
'Mong moss-covered pine-trees, their peaceable nest.
And tempest and fray, too,
And care and its powers,
They find not the way to
The warderless towers.
There joy needs no charming,
But May-day's bright brand,
And night to sleep calming
With rose-tinted hand
The tiny wee band.

Thou fugitive soul on a far foreign strand,
When seek'st thou again thine own dear fatherland?
When each palm-tree beareth,
In fatherworld growing,
Thy calm faith prepareth
In joy to be going.
On lifted wings thither.
As little birds hie.
None shows the way whither
Through wildering sky,
Yet sure dost thou fly.

From The Swedish of Runeberg.