Madrigal

 
A robin on a rose-bush,

In the tranquil rain,

Looked round about the garden.

Then sang again.

 

His cries like words were loving,

Innocent and true,

As though they were just minted,

Incomparably new.

 

‘To God, my great Creator,

I give a small bird’s praise,

Who made me light and feathered

To sing on summer days.

 

I mingle with the angels

And take my alto part:

To the chorus of creation

I add a robin’s art.

 

With me the saints have spoken,

Because I do no wrong:

Only you, sad listener,

Have an uncertain song.

 

I wear His scarlet marking,

Who died upon a tree

For men, who, not so abject,

Still startle me.

 

Like Him, I live the present:

No past or future haunts

My happiness this moment,

For He fulfils my wants.

 

Oh, listen at the window

To one who tells the truth:

Trust God the way that I do:

He will renew your youth.’

 

The robin looked about him,

Then flew into the rain:

The rose-bush, left without him,

Rose up again.