William Morris Archive

The Blackbird (Listen [to] the blackbird singing / To the red flush in the west!)

Draft in B. L. Add. MS 45,298A, ff. 34-34v, in what may be Morris' hand; see Fame: Why Weepeth He?.

The Blackbird

[f. 34]     

Listen to the blackbird singing
     To the red flush in the west!
Of all that sing the spring in
     The blackbird singeth best

O! how the music swelleth!
     As he flutters there hard by,
For joy of the tales he telleth,
     For the song that shall never die.

The young lime where he singeth
     Will remember all his song,
When on his trunk time bringeth
     The mosses clinging long.

To the bees by the blossoms humming
     The leaves will tell the tale
In the summer that is coming
     As they flutter in the gale[.]

[f. 34v] His singing riseth higher
     To the small clouds overhead,
It goeth on to the fire
     By the small clouds that is fed.

Sunsets will keep his singing;
     When the lime is on the ground.
In the ivy about it clinging
     Will thoughts of the song be found.