The Humming Birds

Green wing and ruby throat,
What shining spell, what exquisite sorcery,
Lured you to float
And fight with bees round this one flowering tree?

Petulant imps of light,
What whisper or gleam or elfin-wild perfumes
Thrilled through the night
And drew you to this hive of rosy bloom?

One tree, and one alone,
Of all that load this magic air with spice,
Claims for its own
Your brave migration out of Paradise;

Claims you, and guides you, too,
Three thousand miles across the summer's waste
Of blooms ye knew
Less finely fit for your ethereal taste.

To poets' youthful hearts,
Even so the quivering April thoughts will fly,--
Those irised darts,
Those winged and tiny denizens of the sky.

Through beaks as needle-fine,
They suck a redder honey than bees know.
Unearthly wine
Sleeps in this bloom; and, when it falls, they go.

by Alfred Noyes

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