The Welcome Swallow by C.J. Dennis

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They know me not to praise and love aright,
Who only pause to mark my headlong flight --
   A swift and slender crescent wheeling by
   Athwart Spring's softly amaranthine sky.
   And yet I am
Named "Welcome," joyously by even these
Who, missing all my soft amenities,
   Still speak the words that ever haunted men,
   And say, "The swallows have come back again."

No braggart I, no loud-voiced chorister:
But, when the bees 'mid blossoms are astir,
   Into the quiet day my song is spent,
   A rare, sweet ministrelsy of gladness blent
   With calm content.
Content is in my pose; my tawny throat,
Swelling anew to every trickling note
   Speaks to the heart of him who listens then:
   "Peace reigns; the swallows have come back again."

Who knows me well could never love me less
For having sought and won my friendliness.
   In my sleek coat of unsuspected hues --
   Russet and fawn and darkly gleaming blues --
   I bring good news.
Drab harbinger of hope; to him who grieves
I chirp my message from the sunlit eaves.
   And, with the sun returning, turn from men
   Face down. "The swallows have come back again."

First published in The Herald, 3 September 1932;
and later in 
The Singing Garden by C.J. Dennis, 1935.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on September 3, 2013 7:27 AM.

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