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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

The Brown Thrush

By William Davis Gallagher (1808–1894)

[From Miami Woods,… and Other Poems. 1881.]

BROWN-BREASTED bird that in the dim old forest,

Which stands far spreading in my own loved West,

At dewy eve and purple morn outpourest

The sweet, wild melodies that thrill my breast,

How like to thine were my young heart’s libations,

Poured daily to the Giver of all good!

How like our love and simple ministrations

At God’s green altars in the deep and hallowed wood.

We trilled our morn and evening songs together,

And twittered ’neath green leaves at sultry noon;

We kept like silence in ungenial weather,

And never knew blue skies come back too soon;

We sang not for the world, we sang not even

For those we loved; we could not help but sing,

There was such beauty in the earth and heaven,

Such music in our hearts, such joy in everything.

Wild warblers of the wood, I hear them only

At intervals of weary seasons now;

Yet, while through dusty streets I hasten, lonely,

And sad at heart, with cares upon my brow,

There comes from out the green aisles of the forest

A gushing melody of other days—

And I again am with thee where thou pourest

In gladness unto God, the measure of thy praise.