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  The Bird And The Stormcloud  


    Little bird, is that thy sphere,
Yonder threat'ning cloud so near?
Sunbeams blaze along its brow,
Yet what darkness reigns below!
There the sullen thunder mutt'ring,
Wrathful sounds is sternly utt'ring;--
There the red-eyed lightning gleameth,
Where no more the sunlight beameth,
And the strong wind, fiercely waking,
Wings of fearful might is taking;--
Creature of the calmer air,
Wherefore art thou soaring there?

    Wert thou weary of the vale,
With its blossom-scented gale?--
Weary of thy breezy bowers?--
Weary of thy wild-wood flowers?--
Weary of thy wind-rocked nest
In the bright, green willow's breast?--
Didst thou sigh, on daring wing,
Up in heaven's blue depths to sing?--
Claim with storms companionship,
And in clouds thy free wings dip?--
And, where rushing winds are strong,
Pour thy melody of song?

    Bird, thy wing is all too weak
Such adventurous heights to seek;
In the bower thou seem'dst to be
Trembling with timidity;
Now, with proud, unshrinking glance
Thou art daring yon expanse,
And, with wild, exultant singing,
Upward thy free flight art winging;--
Creature of the calmer air,
Wherefore art thou sporting there?

    Bird, that cannot be thy sphere,
Yonder threatening cloud so near!--
With thy bright, unfearing eye,
Wherefore seek that troubled sky?
Ah! a hand is o'er thee spread,
To defend thy beauteous head;
Sheltering arms are round thee cast,
'Mid the lightning and the blast;
God doth shield thee, and shall He
Thine, and not my guardian be?

    No: He, who guards thy fragile form
Midst the dread, o'erwhelming storm,
Will His kind protection spread
O'er His child's defenceless head,--
Temper every blast severe,--
Mingle hope with every fear,--
Pour into the bleeding heart
Balm for sorrow's keenest smart,
And will gift the feeblest form
With a might to brave each storm!

    Bird, thou well mayst soar and sing
High in heaven on raptured wing!
Thou hast never learned to fear
Blighting change, in thy bright sphere;
'Tis to us, and us alone,
Faith's mysterious might is known:
We, that tremble at the blast,
Shall o'ersweep the storms at last!
Though around us tempests lower,
We shall know our triumph-hour;
And on glad exultant wing
Soar, and with the angels sing

       - Mrs. J. C. Yule

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