The Oriole

By Julian E. Johnstone

A flash of light and a whir of wings,
A gleam of gold and a blush of red,
And adown the gloom like a star it sped;
Adown the green and the trees atween,
Like a feathery fire it swiftly fled,
With an ebon back, and a golden throat,
And a palpitant, pulsatile, passionate note,
That out on the air like a bubble doth float
Or a golden girl in a golden boat.
A gorgeous creature, a globe of fire,
A thing all splendor and love and light;
A robin begot in the rainbow bright
Or the western skies when the sunset dyes
The wings of the birds that pass in flight
Through the ruby gates, and the portals wide,
Till tipped with vermilion, and dipped in a tide
Of purple and gold, they glimmer and glide
Through the sky, as bright as a bloomy bride.
An orange-musk in the twinkling dusk;
A topaz throbbing with golden fire;
Sweet music shaken from Heaven’s lyre,
And turned in the night to crimson bright,
And gold like the yellow light of a pyre,—
A glimmering, shimmering, beautiful thing,
With a voice like a pearl in a simmering spring,
A diamond flitting on glittering wing,
That ever of Heaven doth heavenly sing.

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