I WISH you were a pleasant wren,
And I your small accepted mate;
How we’d look down on toilsome men!
We’d rise and go to bed at eight
Or it may be not quite so late.
Then you should see the nest I’d build,
The wondrous nest for you and me;
The outside rough, perhaps, but filled
With wool and down: ah, you should see
The cosey nest that it would be.
We’d have our change of hope and fear,
Small quarrels, reconcilements sweet:
I’d perch by you to chirp and cheer,
Or hop about on active feet
And fetch you dainty bits to eat.
We’d be so happy by the day,
So safe and happy through the night,
We both should feel, and I should say,
It’s all one season of delight,
And we’ll make merry whilst we may.
Perhaps some day there’d be an egg
When spring had blossomed from the snow:
I’d stand triumphant on one leg;
Like chanticleer I’d almost crow
To let our little neighbors know.
Next you should sit and I would sing
Through lengthening days of sunny spring:
Till, if you wearied of the task,
I’d sit; and you should spread your wing
From bough to bough; I’d sit and bask.
Fancy the breaking of the shell,
The chirp, the chickens wet and bare,
The untried proud paternal swell;
And you with housewife-matron air
Enacting choicer bills of fare.
Fancy the embryo coats of down,
The gradual feathers soft and sleek;
Till clothed and strong from tail to crown,
With virgin warblings in their beak,
They too go forth to soar and seek.
So would it last an April through
And early summer fresh with dew:
Then should we part and live as twain,
Love-time would bring me back to you
And build our happy nest again.