Ere last year’s moon had left the sky,
A birdling sought my Indian nest,
And folded, O, so lovingly!
Her tiny wings upon my breast.
From morn till evening’s purple tinge,
In winsome helplessness she lies,
Two rose-leaves, with a silken fringe,
Shut softly on her starry eyes.
There’s not in Ind a lovelier bird—
Broad earth owns not a happier nest—
O God! Thou hast a fountain stirred,
Whose waters nevermore shall rest!
This beautiful, mysterious thing,
This seeming visitant from Heaven
This bird, with the immortal wing,
To me—to me, Thy hand has given.
The pulse first caught its tiny stroke,
The blood, its crimson hue from mine—
This life, which I have dared invoke,
Henceforth is parallel with Thine.
A silent awe is in my room,
I tremble with delicious fear;
The future, with its light and gloom,
Time and eternity, is here.
Doubts—hopes, in eager tumult, rise—
Hear, O my God! one earnest prayer!
Room for my bird in paradise,
And give her angel plumage there.