George Borrow (1803-1881 / England)
Birds Of Passage (From The Swedish)
So hot shines the sun upon Nile’s yellow stream,
That the palm-trees can save us no more from his beam;
Now comes the desire for home, in full force,
And Northward our phalanx bends swiftly its course.
Now dim underneath us, through distance we view
The green grassy earth, and the ocean’s deep blue;
There tempests and frequent disasters arise,
Whilst free and untroubled we wend through the skies.
Lo, high among mountains a meadow lies spread,
And there we alight, and get ready our bed;
There hatch we our eggs, and beneath the chill pole
We wait while the summer months over us roll.
No hunter, desirous to make us his prey,
Invades our lone valley by night or by day;
But green-mantled fairies their merry routs hold,
And fearless the pigmy there hammers its gold.
But when pallid winter, again on the rocks
Shakes down in a shower the snow from his locks,
Then comes the desire for heat, in full force,
And Southward our phalanx bends swiftly its course.
To the verdant Savannah, and palm-shaded plain,
Where the Nile rolls his water, we hurry again;
There rest we till summer’s sun, waxing too hot,
Makes us wish for our native, our hill-girded spot.
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