When, through the shadowy aisles of somber firs,
The varied thrush's silver bell chimes clear,
Though rills are still and heavy snow lies deep,
The forest folk rejoice, for Spring is near.
The prowling wildcat quits his stealthy beat,
The raccoon seeks his lofty cedar sill;
For when the varied thrush pipes long and sweet,
Then Day is breaking just beyond the hill.
Each hemlock-needle's tip is pearled with mist,
The forest's steaming breath in cloudlets rise,
From dripping depths the thrush's promise rings
Presaging shifting winds and clearing skies.
Shy bird of silent flight and modest mien,
Habitue' of ferny glade and glen,
Your minor vibrant, bell-like call foretells
The Dawn, the Spring, and Sunshine--loved by men.
Natt Dodge, Ranger-Naturalist.