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Augusta Davies Webster

(30 January 1837 - 5 September 1894 / Dorset, England)

A Bird and flower upon the tree


A bird and flower upon the tree,
Sweet peony and oriole,
Each of them a perfect soul,
Song and sweetness manifest
The bird and flower we love the best
Side by side on the tall tree.

'Flower who art sunlight and fire, flower who art perfume and joy,
Sweetest of sweet,
Ah for the gift withheld!
Ah for the given gift's alloy!
Why must thy spirit exhale only in beauty and breath?
Ah for the voice thou hast not! I by thy side on the tree,
Telling the world of love, pain, and all raptures that be,
Raptures of laughter and life, raptures of tears and death,
Singing my heart to heaven, singing to earth at my feet;
Silence in thee.'

'Bird who art dew-drops and flame, bird who art rapture and song,
Sweetest of sweet,
Lo there's a voice part mine, songs that to me too belong,
Songs that grew of my growth, voice that has breathed my breath.
Bird that while I sit mute singest beside on the tree,
Hast thou ever a song taking no perfume of me?
Give forth my sweetness in song; bird, thou art singing for both,
Singing our hearts to heaven, singing to earth at our feet;
My voice in thee.'

On the tree-top side by side,
Sweet oriole and peony;
Music rings through earth and sky,
Sweet and sweet in sweetness lost
The flower and bird we love the most,
On the tree-top side by side.

Submitted: Friday, April 02, 2010

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