The little birds begin their warbling
At the earliest break of dawn;
Always singing; ever happy;
Just the same till day is done.
Happy songsters, oft I envy
Your winged flight so wild and free,
Have you naught to cause you trouble
Nothing like anxiety?
Your little birdlings come to cheer you,
Do you ever fear for thems?
When they leave you do you wonder,
If they will come back again?
When you hear their little voices,
Trying first to frame a song,
Do you stop and listen softly,
Teaching them if aught is wrong?
Do you ever have to tell them,
In your own instinctive way,
They must always be so watchful?
There are dangers in the way?
And when winter's chilling blast
'Comes down so bleak and cold,
Do you ever wish them near you,
That neath your wings you might them fold?
When they build their nests so cozy,
Do you have to teach them then?
Or when in your southern flight,
Do you think of spring again?
Could we learn from you the secret,
Why so happy, always gay?
Nothing ever seems to vex you;
You are singing all the day.
Could we gain by constant practice,
Putting off vexatious thoughts,
Ever looking onward, upward,
Your loving nature dearly sought?
Or are we only erring mortals
With a mind all full of care?
Many things to do and think of;
Worry, worry, everywhere.
But to sit and listen to you,
While you sing your happy song,
Wakes the tender thoughts within us,
Makes us list, and linger long.
Happy songsters! How you cheer us
In the morning with your lay;
Life seems sweeter, duty plainer
While you warble day by day.
I have listened in the doorway,
When the shades of night were here,
Heard you sing your evening chorus,
With a voice so loud and clear.
When your pretty song was ended
And 'twas time for you
Then a little chirp or prattle,
With your head upon your breast,
You went to slumber, oh! how sweet,
Without a thought or care;
None to molest you in your dreams.
All seemed pleasure everywhere.
Lend to me your happy spirit,
Give me oft your pretty song,
Cheer me on to do my duty,
For this life will not be long.
When this life-work shall be over,
And willing hands are laid to rest,
May my closing hours be happy
Like the birdie's in the nest.