The Poetical Works of Elizabeth Margaret Chandler/The Kingfisher
- A newspaper paragraph gives an account of the instance of maternal affection in a bird, which has been made the subject of the following lines,
The kingfisher sat on her hidden nest,
Shielding her young with a downy breast;
She had built her home where the wave went by,
Soothing her ear with its melody;
And the wild white blossoms bent to dip
In the rushing waves, their thirsty lip.
Pleasant it was while the skies were fair,
And perfume flung on the sunny air,
While the wind in a low sweet whisper died,
Ere it could ruffle the flowing tide;
And the arching skies o'er the waters threw
The deep clear tint of their own pure blue.
But what that is bright on earth may last?
Soon were the days of her sunshine past;
On came the storm-winds muttering loud,
Sweeping before them the thunder-cloud;
And faster, as flash'd the lightning's flame,
Dashing to earth the sky-torrents came.
Yet with her cold wet wing unstirr'd,
On her shaken nest sat the mother bird;
Still ‘midst danger and death she clung,
With faithful love, to her lifeless young,
Till high around her hath risen the tide,
And with her pinion stretch'd o'er them, she died.
Oh! if affection like this hath part
In the warm depths of a wood-bird's heart—
That even to die, is a better fate
Than to leave her dear ones desolate;—
What is the love of a mother's breast,
With the seal of a deathless nature press'd?
Yet there are men who will rudely tear
The dearest chords that are cherish'd there;
Wrench from its mother's frantic hold,
Her weeping babes, to be pawn'd for gold;
And scourge her amidst that living death,
If she dares but give her woe to breath!
Know ye the land where such deeds are done,
In the broad light of the blessed sun?
Where the spoiler bursts, with savage hand,
The holy links of the household band;
And the ties of natural love are cast,
With a daring hand, to the idle blast?