Lute Song

The love-birds in their cages fly

     Back and forth, back and forth.

Some are pink and some are blue.

     Strangers to the estranging north.


Better if they had more space

     In which their painted wings might move.

Better to have stayed in Greece:

     There a climate kind to love.


But they are from the jungles, are

     They not, the love-birds, are they not?

Or is it from the islands, where

     Parakeets and peacocks plot?


Somewhere other than these barred,

     These desert-strewn, all iron domains.

Not nights electric, but nights starred

     With glow-worms round pale orange moons.


Ah, love-birds, love, and you will live

     Even in the stranger north.

Let enduring lovecalls move

     Back and forth, back and forth.