Works in the Herald 1938
"Swe-e-et!  Swe-e-et!"  Low at first and flattering,
   Full of soft seductiveness on a wheedling note.
Who comes in mercy now, crumbs of comfort scattering
   For a grey bird pleading from a cold, cold throat?
Just a thread of tallow-fat, just a scrap of meat!
Grey thrush is at the door.  "Swe-e-et!  Swe-e-et!"

Grey bird, friendly bird, merry bird in summer time,
   For summer is a merry time, full of tuneful mirth.
Sunny days are singing days.  But winter is a glummer time
   With lean days of scant fare; frost has locked the earth.
Song goes as sun goes, and harshly drives the sleet.
Where comes the almoner?  "Swe-e-et!  Swe-e-et!"

"Sweet!  Sweet!"  Now it grows imperious:
   A short call, a loud call, impatience in its tone.
Why am I left lingering?  See, my plight is serious.
   A poor bird all forlorn, starving and alone.
Grey Thrush is a-hungering, begging scraps to eat.
It's far beyond my breakfast time!  "Sweet!  Sweet!"

Now a footstep on the floor.  Now a sudden fluttering,
   And Grey Thrush is waiting there beside the open door.
Kookaburra cocks an eye; greedily he's muttering;
   But grey bird is first to swoop upon the proffered store,
A scrap of song in gratitude, then up, and off, away.
And the mendicant has vanished till another frosty day.

Herald, 7 May 1938, p4

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2002-06