A poem by John Charles McNeill

This is the time for birds to mate;
To-day the dove
Will mark the ancient amorous date
With moans of love;
The crow will change his call to prate
His hopes thereof.

The starling will display the red
That lights his wings;
The wren will know the sweet things said
By him who swings
And ducks and dips his crested head
And sings and sings.

They are obedient to their blood,
Nor ask a sign,
Save buoyant air and swelling bud,
At hands divine,
But choose, each in the barren wood,
His valentine.

In caution's maze they never wait
Until they die;
They flock the season's open gate
Ere time steals by.
Love, shall we see and imitate,
You, love, and I?

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