Thou should'st be carolling thy Maker's praise, Poor bird! now fetter'd, and here set to draw, With graceless toil of beak and added claw, The meagre food that scarce thy want allays! And this to gratify the gloating gaze Of fools, who value Nature not a straw, But know to prize the infraction of her law And hard perversion of her creatures' ways! Thee the wild woods await, in leaves attired, Where notes of liquid utterance should engage Thy bill, that now with pain scant forage earns.
Bird of the amber beak, Bird of the golden wing! Thy dower is thy carolling; Thou hast not far to seek Thy bread, nor needest wine To make thy utterance divine; Thou art canopied and clothed And unto Song betrothed.edmund clarence stedman