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Poem by William Cowper


The Swallow


I am fond of the swallow--I learn from her flight,
Had I skill to improve it, a lesson of love:
How seldom on earth do we see her alight!
She dwells in the skies, she is ever above.

It is on the wing that she takes her repose,
Suspended and poised in the regions of air,
'Tis not in our fields that her sustenance grows,
It is winged like herself--'tis ethereal fare.

She comes in the spring, all the summer she stays,
And, dreading the cold, still follows the sun--
So, true to our love, we should covet his rays,
And the place where he shines not immediately shun.

Our light should be love, and our nourishment prayer;
It is dangerous food that we find upon earth;
The fruit of this world is beset with a snare,
In itself it is hurtful, as vile in its birth.

'Tis rarely, if ever, she settles below,
And only when building a nest for her young;
Were it not for her brood, she would never bestow
A thought upon anything filthy as dung.

Let us leave it ourselves ('tis a mortal abode),
To bask every moment in infinite love;
Let us fly the dark winter, and follow the road
That leads to the dayspring appearing above. 



                      William Cowper


William Cowper's other poems:
  1. On The Burning Of Lord Mansfield's Library
  2. Joy In Martyrdom
  3. On Opening A Place For Social Prayer
  4. To Sir Joshua Reynolds
  5. Contentment


Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • John Clare The Swallow ("Pretty swallow, once again")
  • Charlotte Smith The Swallow ("THE gorse is yellow on the heath")
  • Abraham Cowley The Swallow ("Foolish prater, what dost thou")
  • Thomas Aird The Swallow ("The little comer's coming, the comer o'er the sea")

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