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The Wren’s Nest
(20 April 1826 - 12 October 1887 / Stoke-on-Trent / England)

The Wren’s Nest

I TOOK the wren's nest;--
Heaven forgive me!
Its merry architects so small
Had scarcely finished their wee hall,
That, empty still, and neat and fair,
Hung idly in the summer air.
The mossy walls, the dainty door,
Where Love should enter and explore,
And Love sit carolling outside,
And Love within chirp multiplied;--
I took the wren's nest;--
Heaven forgive me!

How many hours of happy pains
Through early frosts and April rains,
How many songs at eve and morn
O'er springing grass and greening corn,
Before the pretty house was made!
One little minute, only one,
And she'll fly back, and find it--gone!
I took the wren's nest:
Bird, forgive me!

Thou and thy mate, sans let, sans fear,
Ye have before you all the year,
And every wood holds nooks for you,
In which to sing and build and woo;
One piteous cry of birdish pain--
And ye'll begin your life again,
And quite forget the lost, lost home
In many a busy home to come.--
But I?--Your wee house keep I must
Until it crumble into dust.
I took the wren's nest:
God forgive me!

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