Opening the Window

Opening the Window  (1875) 
by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Collected in Songs of Many Seasons 1862–1874 (1875)

Thus I lift the sash, so long
Shut against the flight of song;
All too late for vain excuse,—
Lo, my captive rhymes are loose!

Rhymes that, flitting through my brain,
Beat against my window-pane,
Some with gayly colored wings,
Some, alas! with venomed stings.

Shall they bask in sunny rays?
Shall they feed on sugared praise?
Shall they stick with tangled feet
On the critic's poisoned sheet?

Are the outside winds too rough?
Is the world not wide enough?
Go, my wingèd verse, and try,—
Go, like Uncle Toby's fly!