The Wren

A poem by John Frederick Freeman

Within the greenhouse dim and damp
The heat floats like a cloud.
Pale rose-leaves droop from the rust roof
With rust-edged roses bowed.
As I go in
Out flies the startled wren.

By the tall dark fir tree he sings
Morn after morn still,
Shy and bold he flits and sings
Tinily sweet and shrill.
As I go out
His song follows me about ...

About the orchard under trees
Beaded with cherries bright,
Past the rat-haunted Honeybourne
And up those hills of light:
As up I go
His notes more sweetly flow.

Or down those dark hills when night's there
Full of dark thoughts and deep,
A thin clear soundless music comes
Like stars in broken sleep.
When I come down
All those dark thoughts are flown.

And now that sweetness is more sweet,
Here where the aeroplanes
Labouring and groaning in the height
Lift their lifeless vans:--
Sweet, sweet to hear
The far off wren singing clear.

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