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Poem by Rose Terry Cooke


The Lesson


Flutter thy new wings lightly,
Poor, fearful little bird!
Nor grasp thy bough so tightly;
Hast thou not heard
That flood of loving song wherewith the leaves are stirred?
 
Still poised: afraid of flying!
What softer mother-call,
Through the warm sunshine crying,
Could woo thee not to fall?
Doth not its sweetness say,--"Dear child, fear not at all?"
 
Now the cool wind shall aid thee;
Spread thy new wings and fly!
The master-hand that made thee,
Gave heart and wings to try.
The worst fate that befalls can only be to die.
 
Ah! from the light branch springing,
My little darling flies,
And that low, tender sighing
In tenderer silence dies,
While with adventurous plume her nestling tempts the skies.
 
His new-discovered pinions
Shall bear thy bird away,
Into those far dominions,
Beyond the dawning day,
And thou, poor mother-heart, in solitude shalt stay.
 
Yet some most weary proving
Taught him to spread the wing,
And some most lonely loving
Taught thee such notes to sing.
God keep both song and strength to decorate His Spring! 



Rose Terry Cooke


Rose Terry Cooke's other poems:
  1. Fastrada's Ring
  2. Exogenesis
  3. Samson Agonistes
  4. Ebb and Flow
  5. Basile Renaud


Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Paul Dunbar The Lesson ("My cot was down by a cypress grove")

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