by Patience Worth

Patience Worth

Lapping thy grey wing
Upon the purple evening sky,
Oh Philomel, oh Philomel!
Winding thy song on a shuttle of woodbine,
Oh Philomel, oh Philomel!
In an early hour, e'er the sun
Had struck his brass, announcing day,
Didst thou in the pale light
Mark the heavens with thy flight?
Mayhap fringe thy wing upon the pearly gate,
And in thy awe, an instant ope thy throat,
Letting the echo of the angels song therein?
Oh Philomel, oh Philomel!
Back, back, o'er the starry arch
In the young hour didst thou flee?
Hiding through the sunny hours,
Waiting the soft and shadeful, instant,
Holy in its commemoration of the day's
Departure, when the moon stands guard
And the sun delivers her his trust,
Oh Philomel, oh Philomel!
Then didst thou let the echoes
Come stealing forth hauntful of the heavens,
Each note a moon-lit dewdrop fallen,
Mirrored with a thousand stars,
Each song a symbol of perfection,
Neither long and doleful-tuned nor fluttered,
For an instant passing, then to flee,
But each haunted of the heavens.
Tomorrow then, oh Philomel, oh Philomel!
If I should come upon thee
Fallen in the early hour, thy head
Beneath a leafy circlet-shadow,
And dewdrops clinging to thy nun-grey throat,
I should not sorrow!
Nay, oh Philomel, oh Philomel!
But wait that holy instant in the eve,
And hear a thousand, thousand singings
Of a thousand, thousand songs-
Oh Philomel, oh Philomel!

Last updated January 14, 2019