Birds, why are ye silent? (I)

Why are ye silent, Birds?
Where do ye fly?
Winter's not violent,
With such a Spring sky.
The wheatlands are green, snow and frost are away,
Birds, why are ye silent on such a sweet day?

By the slated pig-stye
The redbreast scarce whispers:
Where last Autumn's leaves lie
The hedge sparrow just lispers.
And why are the chaffinch and bullfinch so still,
While the sulphur primroses bedeck the wood hill?

The bright yellow-hammers
Are strutting about,
All still, and none stammers
A single note out.
From the hedge starts the blackbird, at brook side to drink:
I thought he'd have whistled, but he only said "prink."

The tree-creeper hustles
Up fir's rusty bark;
All silent he bustles;
We needn't say hark.
There's no song in the forest, in field, or in wood,
Yet the sun gilds the grass as though come in for good.

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