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Ode{s} to the British Birds -two

Updated on September 16, 2013


The second in the series about the poetry alluding to British birds. As with the first one, the poetry is from archaic times, and written by different poets. They have been collated from various sources, indeed the poets are unknown. However, their words can still be enjoyed today by those that love birds or those that like poetry, whatever the subject.

I have chosen the poems which I am sharing with you because of their subjects, the little birds, that enhance the quality of life of so many people, I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Gold crest

Meyer Published  1842 -1850
Meyer Published 1842 -1850

To the Goldcrest { formerly known as the Gold crested Wren

" Sweet warbler of the circling year,

Of summer bright and winter drear,

I love thy cheerful note to hear,

Wand'ring the brakes among.

At early dawn thy native lay,

Precedes the orient beam of day,

And of't, at evening's parting ray

I hear they vesper song.

Within thy warm and mossy cell,

Where scarce 'twould seem thy self could dwell,

Twice eight, a speckled brood we tell,

Nestling beneath thy wing !

And still unwearied, many a day,

Thy little partner loves to stay,

Perched on some trembling limber spray,

Besides his mate to sing."



To the Serin

" Thou little sportive, airy thing,

That trimm'st so oft thy yellow wing,

And, cheerful, pour'st thy varied lay.

In sprightly notes, clear, rapid, gay,

As jocund as thy grated dome,

As thou at liberty did'st roam.

A captive born ! far from those isles,

Where lavish nature richly smiles,

And where the broad Atlantic wave

Thy native rocks and mountains lave:

Less sweetly there, thy song is heard,

Than here, from liberty debarr'd.

E,en there, amid the palmy groves,,

The gaudy finch in silence roves:

It seems as if thy carol taught,

A lesson man has rarely caught,-

That cheerfulness can soothe our care,

And teach us life's ills to bear"


European goldfinch

To the Goldfinch

"Hid among the op'ning flowers

Of the sweetest vernal bowers,

Passing there the anxious hours,

In her little mossy dome,

Sits thy mate,whilst thou art singing,

Or across the lawn seen winging,

or upon a thistle swinging,

Gleaning for thy happy home"


Brown linnet

Familiar Wild Birds published 1907-1914}
Familiar Wild Birds published 1907-1914}

Brown linnet

" The Lintie on the heathery brae,

{ where lies the nest among the ferns,}

Begins its lilt at break o'day,

And at the gloaming hails the sterns.

I wadna gie the Lintie's sang,

Sae merry on the broomy lea,

For a' the notes that ever rang

Frae a' the harps o' minstrelsy !

Mair dear to me whare buss or breer,

Among the pathless heather grows,

The Lintie's wild, sweet note to hear,

As on the ev'ning breeze it flows"

{anonymous Scottish poet}


Familiar wild birds {published 1907 -1914}
Familiar wild birds {published 1907 -1914}

To the Chaffinch

" Where the chaffinch rests its wing,

'Mid the budding trees so gay

Still, anon, it loves to sing,

Merrily in its roundelay.

Lo' on yonder branchlet hoar,

Twin'd with honeysuckle round,

Curiously bestudded or'e,

Lurks a nest by ivy crowned.

In that little mossy nest,

Hid from truant school- boy's eye,

Warm beneath the shilfa's breast,

Twice to speckled spheroids lie.

See ! her mate, as nigh the tree,

Chaunting oft at break of day,

Still proclaiming, merrily,

Merrily, his roundelay ! "



To the Bullfinch

" Beside a little straw-built shed,

An ancient garden sloping lay,

To meet the sun from Ocean's bed,

And catch his last departing ray !

Within the garden's sunny bound,

The sweet bird chaunted morn and eve,

And there the cottage children found

A fabric such as elfin's weave.

It was a curious mossy cell,

Woven with twigs and grass and hair,

And, 'mid the moss, six nestlings dwell,

Concealed by apple -blossoms fair.

" 'tis Bully's nest!" Bethia said,

" His head of glossy jet I spy,

His downy breast of softest red;

Poor bird! I hear his whooping cry "

{ anonymous}


Familiar wild birds {1907-1914 }
Familiar wild birds {1907-1914 }

To the Greenfinch { formerly referred to as the Green Linnet}

" The woodland Choir, sweet denizens of the air,

Welcome the sun's approach with songs of joy'

Or, lightly flitting, to the woods repair:

Or to their mates, on anxious pinions fly !

But Dick, poor bird !,a captive all his life,

The bliss of liberty never prove;

Powerful, and brave,a stranger yet to strife,

He lived for friendship,and expired for love !"

{ Anonymous}


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    • D.A.L. profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Lancashire north west England


      Hello Deb, although the poems are from a long time ago the words are still as relevant today and it shows that our feathered friends have been admired for so long. Best wishes to you.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I enjoyed these merry poems, celebrating the beauty of wondrous life.

    • D.A.L. profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Lancashire north west England


      Hello Devika ,I can claim no credit for the poetry other than choosing the selection which you and I enjoyed. I am happy that you did so. Best wishes to you.


      Hello to you too Eddy, Your kind and generous encouragement is much appreciated, and thanks for the vote up. Best wishes to you and your little corner of Wales.

    • Eiddwen profile image


      5 years ago from Wales

      This my friend is interesting; wonderfully written and I love it. Voted up and shared onto A Brand New Dawn without a single doubt.


    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Beautiful birds with so much life and you did this so well in form of poetry I simply enjoyed reading such great expressions


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