O say, dear sister, are you coming
Forth to the fields with me?
The very air is gaily ringing
With hum of bird and bee,
And crowds of swallows now are chirping
Up in our ancient thorn,
And earth and air are both rejoicing,
On this gay summer morn.
Shall we hie unto the streamlet's side
To seek our little boat,
And, plying our oars with right good will,
Over its bright waves float?
Or shall we loll on the grassy bank
For hours dreamy, still,
To draw from its depths some silv'ry prize,
Reward of angler's skill?
I do not talk of the tempting game
The forest covers hide,
So dear to the sportsman - plovers shy,
Pheasants with eye of pride,
For I know your timid nature shrinks
From flash of fire-arm bright,
And the birds themselves hear not the din
With more intense affright.
But we may tread the cool wood's paths,
And wander there for hours,
Discovering hidden fairy dells,
Be-gemmed with lovely flowers;
And while you weave them in varied wreaths;
In oaks of giant size
I'll seek for nests of cunning shape -
I, too, must win some prize.
Then, sister, listen! squander not
These hours of precious time
With stupid book or useless work -
It is indeed a crime;
But haste with me to the wood-lands green,
Where forest warblers sing
And bees are humming - like them, too,
We must be on the wing.