The Gray Linnet
There's a little gray friar in yonder green bush, Clothed in
sackcloth--a little gray friar, Like the druid of old in his
temple--but hush! He's at vespers; you must not go nigher.
Yet, the rogue! can those strains be addressed to the skies, And around
us so wantonly float, Till the glowing refrain like a shining thread
flies From the silvery reel of his throat?
When he roams, though he stains not his path through the air With the
splendour of tropical wings, All the lustre denied to his russet plumes
there Flashes forth through his lay when he sings;
For the little gray friar is so wondrous wise, Though in such a plain
garb he appears, That on finding he can't reach your soul through your
eyes, He steals in through the gates of your ears.
But the cheat!--'tis not heaven he's warbling about-- Other passions,
less holy, betide-- For behold, there's a little gray nun peeping out
From a bunch of green leaves at his side.