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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 Sparrow

By Robert Dinsmoor (1757–1836)

[Born in Windham, N. H., 1757. Died there, 1836. Incidental Poems. 1828.]

POOR innocent and hapless Sparrow!

Why should my moul-board gie thee sorrow?

This day thou’ll chirp, an’ mourn the morrow,

Wi’ anxious breast—

The plough has turn’d the mould’ring furrow

Deep o’er thy nest.

Just in the middle o’ the hill,

Thy nest was plac’d wi’ curious skill;

There I espy’d thy little bill

Beneath the shade,—

In that sweet bower secure frae ill,

Thine eggs thou laid.

Five corns o’ maize had there been drappit,

An’ through the stalks thine head thou pappit;

The drawing nowt couldna’ be stappit,

I quickly foun’,—

Syne frae thy cozie nest thou happit,

An’ flutt’ring ran.

The sklentin stane beguil’d the sheer,

In vain I tri’d the plough to steer;

A wee bit stumpie i’ the rear

Cam’ ’tween my legs,

An’ to the gee side gart me veer,

An’ crush thine eggs.

Alas! alas! my bonnie birdie!

Thy faithfu’ mate flits roun’ to guard ye.

Connubial love! a pattern wordy

The pious priest!

What savage heart could be sae hardy

As wound thy breast?

Thy ruin was nae fau’t o’ mine

(It gars me greet to see thee pine),

It may be serves His great design,

Who governs all;

Omniscience tents wi’ eyes divine,

The Sparrow’s fall.

A pair more friendly ne’er were married,

Their joys an’ pains were equal carried;

But now, ah me! to grief they’re hurried,

Without remead;

When all their hope and treasure’s buried

’Tis sad indeed.

How much like theirs are human dools!

Their sweet wee bairns laid i’ the mools,

That sovereign Pow’r, who nature rules,

Has said so be it;

But poor blin’ mortals are sic’ fools,

They canna’ see it.

Nae doubt, that He wha’ first did mate us,

Has fixt our lot as sure as fate is,

And when he wounds, he disna’ hate us,

But only this—

He’ll gar the ills that here await us,

Yield lasting bliss.