Invitation To The Redbreast

by William Cowper

William Cowper

Sweet bird, whom the winter constrains--
And seldom another it can--
To seek a retreat while he reigns
In the well-shelter'd dwellings of man,
Who never can seem to intrude,
Though in all places equally free,
Come oft as the season is rude,
Thou art sure to be welcome to me.
At sight of the first feeble ray
That pierces the clouds of the east,
To inveigle thee every day
My windows shall show thee a feast.
For, taught by experience, I know,
Thee mindful of benefit long;
And that, thankful for all I bestow,
Thou wilt pay me with many a song.
Then, soon as the swell of the buds
Bespeaks the renewal of spring,
Fly hence, if thou wilt to the woods,
Or where it shall please thee to sing:
And shouldst thou, compell'd by a frost,
Come again to my window or door,
Doubt not an affectionate host,
Only pay as thou paid'st me before.
This music must needs be confess'd
To flow from a fountain above;
Else how should it work in the breast
Unchangeable friendship and love?
And who on the globe can be found,
Save your generation and ours,
That can be delighted by sound,
Or boasts any musical powers?

Last updated January 14, 2019