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Jan 1 1900

The Bird and the Boy

Where have you been my birdie bright?
Where have you been since Sunday night?
What have you seen and what have you heard?
And what have you done, my darling bird?

Monday I hopped on the Woodbine bower,
And sucked the honey from Many a flower,
From bush to bush, from tree to tree,
Raced with the butterfly, and the bee.

Tuesday by the milkmaid's side I flew,
When she went to field in the early dew;
She walked cheerily, I flew by,
She sang merrily, so did I.
I laughed a little, though sorry the while
When she and her pail fell over the stile.

Wednesday it rained so I took to the barn
And perched on a beam, to be safe from harm
The good old thresher, I very well knew
Was working for every bird that flew,
"Those precious fellows" I heard him say,
"Have eaten a peck of my corn today"
But when the thresher went home to dine
I hope his fare was as free as mine,
A great black cat came back at his side
His eyes were keen and his jaws were wide
He looked in my face with a coaxing leer
As much as to say "Come down, my dear".
I darted that moment through the air
As much as to say "No thank you Sir."

Thursday, I joined the countless band
Of merry marauders through the land
The cherries vere ripe, the feast was long
And loud and clear was our thankful song,
A grave old judge would have looked away
From a troop of thieves so merry and gay
Unless that judged had happened to be
The owners of that same cherry tree.

Friday, I followed the steps so light,
Of a quite youth and a maiden bright,
A word to my ears the wind did bring
Of a large plum cake and a small gold ring
But a good little bird will hold his tongue
And never tell tales of the lass and young.

Saturday, still I shudder to think
How I stood upon ruin's earnest brink.
I was gathering worms at a cottage door
A nurse and child were playing before
I heard the cruel old monster say:
"We'll have that Bird for dinner to-day
To catch your bird you never can fail
If you take some salt and throw on its tail"
I had learnt from my eggshell to beware
Of arrow and bird-line gum and snare
But I think my mother was rather in fault
That she never had mentioned a pinch of salt.
But before the boy could turn his eye
I was a mile toward the sky

Sunday, I made the steeple my perch
And watched the good people going to church
Many nice boys I looked at there
With snow white collars and shining hair
But wherever I go and whoever I see
Of Ben is the boy for me
And now I have come to the old half-door
Never to leave of Ben any more. [Anonymous]

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Copyright 2002 Whitehern Historic House and Garden
The development of this website was directed by Mary Anderson, Ph.D. and Janelle Baldwin, M.A.
Please direct questions and comments to Mary Anderson, Ph.D.

Hamilton Public Library This site was created in partnership with and is hosted by the Hamilton Public Library. Canada's Digital Collections This digital collection was produced with financial assistance from Canada's Digital Collections initiative, Industry Canada.