Orion, and Other Poems

by Charles G.D. Roberts


 

BALLAD TO A KINGFISHER


 

KINGFISHER, whence cometh it
    That you perch here, collected and fine,
On a dead willow alit
    Instead of a sea-watching pine?
    Are you content to resign                                                            
 
5
The windy, tall cliffs, and the fret
    Of the rocks in the free-smelling brine?
Or, Kingfisher, do you forget?

Here do you chatter and flit
    Where bowering branches entwine,                                            
 
10
Of Ceyx not mindful a whit,
    And that terrible anguish of thine?
    Can it be that you never repine?
Arenít you Alcyone yet?
    Eager only on minnows to dine,                                                 
 
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O Kingfisher, how you forget!


To yon hole in the bank is it fit
    That your bone-woven nest you consign,
And the ship-wrecking tempests permit
    For lack of your presence benign?                                             
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   With your name for a pledge and a sign
Of seas calmed and storms assuaged set
    By John Milton, the vast, the divine,
O Kingfisher, still you forget.

ENVOI

But hereís a reminder of mine,                                                       
25
    And perhaps the last you will get;
So, whatís due your illustrious line
    Now, Kingfisher, do not forget.