BLACK CAT POEMS
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To the Oregon Robin
KADIAK, July, 1899
O varied thrush! O robin strange!
Behold my mute surprise.
Thy form and flight I long have known,
But not this new disguise.
I do not know thy slaty coat,
Thy vest with darker zone;
I'm puzzled by thy recluse ways
And song in monotone.
I left thee 'mid my orchard's bloom,
When May had crowned the year;
Thy nest was on the apple-bough,
Where rose thy carol clear.
Thou lurest now through fragrant shades,
Where hoary spruces grow;
Where floor of moss infolds the foot,
Like depths of fallen snow.
I follow fast, or pause alert,
To spy out thy retreat;
Or see thee perched on tree or shrub,
Where field and forest meet.
Thy voice is like a hermit's reed
That solitude beguiles;
Again 't is like a silver bell
Atune in forest aisles.
Throw off, throw off this masquerade
And don thy ruddy vest,
And let me find thee, as of old,
Beside thy orchard nest.
poems by John Burroughs