The Redbreast: Day 28

Robin Redbreast

Driven in by autumn’s sharpening air

From half-stripped woods and pastures bare,

Brisk Robin seeks a kindlier home:

Not like a beggar is he come,

But enters as a looked-for guest,

Confiding in his ruddy breast,

As if it were a natural shield

Charged with a blazon on the field,

Due to that good and pious deed

Of which we in the ballad read.

But pensive fancies putting by,

And wild-wood sorrows, speedily

He plays the expert ventriloquist;

And, caught by glimpses now — now missed,

Puzzles the listener with a doubt

If the soft voice he throws about

Comes from within doors or without!

Was ever such a sweet confusion,

Sustained by delicate illusion?

— William Wordsworth



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