Monday, April 20, 2009

The Crow

My friend and neighbor through the year,
Self-appointed overseer

Of my Crops of fruit and grain,
Of my woods and furroughted plain,

Claim thy tithings right and left,
I shall never call it theft.

Nature wisely made the law,
And I fail to find a flaw

In thy title to the earth
And all it holds of any worth.

I like thy self-complacent air,
I like thy ways so free from care,

Thy landlord stroll about my fields,
Quickly noting that each yields;

Thy courtly mien and bearing bold,
As if they claim were bought with gold;

Thy floating shape against the sky,
When days are calm and clouds are high;

Thy thrifty flight ere rise of sun,
Thy homing clans when day is done

Hues protective are not thine,
So sleek thy coat each quill doth shine.

Diaond black to end of toe,
The counter-point the crystal snow.


Never plaintive nor appealing,
Quite at home when thou art stealing,

Always groomed to tip of feather,
Calm and trim in every weather,

Morn till night my woods policing,
Every sound thy watch increasing.

Hawk and owl in treetop hiding
Feel the shame of thy deriding.

Naught escapes thy observation,
None can dread thy accusation.


Hunters, prowlers, woodland lovers
Vainly seek the lofty covers.

Noisey, scheming and predacious,
With demeanor almost gracious

Dowered with leisure, void of hurry,
Void of fuss and void of worry,

Friendly bandit, Robin Hood,
Judge and jury of the wood,

Or Captain Kidd of sable quill,
Hiding treasures in the hill.

Nature made the for each season,
Gave thee wit for ample reason,

Good crow wit that's always burnished
Like the coat her care has furnished.

May the numbers ne'er diminish,
I'll befriend thee till life's finish.

May I never cease to meet thee,
May you never have to eat thee.

And mayest thou never have to fare so
That thou playest the part of scare crow.

John Burroughs

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