Classic Poetry: Robin Redbreast (William Allingham, 1824-1889)

Robin Redbreast

Good-bye, good-bye to Summer!
--For Summer’s nearly done;
The garden smiling faintly,
--Cool breezes in the sun!
Our thrushes now are silent,—
--Our swallows flown away,—
But Robin’s here in coat of brown,
--And scarlet breast-knot gay.
----Robin, Robin Redbreast,
------O Robin dear!
----Robin sings so sweetly
------In the falling of the year.

Bright yellow, red, and orange,
--The leaves come down in hosts;
The trees are Indian princes,
--But soon they’ll turn to ghosts;
The scanty pears and apples
--Hang russet on the bough;
It’s autumn, autumn, autumn late,
--’Twill soon be winter now.
----Robin, Robin Redbreast,
------O Robin dear!
----And what will this poor Robin do?
------For pinching days are near.

The fireside for the cricket,
--The wheat-stack for the mouse,
When trembling night-winds whistle
--And moan all round the house.
The frosty ways like iron,
--The branches plumed with snow,—
Alas! in winter dead and dark,
--Where can poor Robin go?
----Robin, Robin Redbreast,
------O Robin dear!
----And a crumb of bread for Robin,
------His little heart to cheer.

--From Flower Pieces and other poems (London: Reeves and Turner, 1888).

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