To the Oregon Robin, by John Burroughs

To the Oregon Robin

KADIAK, July, 1899 O varied thrush! O robin strange!
Behold my mute surprise.
Thy form and flight I long have known,
But not this new disguise.   I do not know thy slaty coat,
Thy vest with darker zone;
I'm puzzled by thy recluse ways
And song in monotone.   I left thee 'mid my orchard's bloom,
When May had crowned the year;
Thy nest was on the apple-bough,
Where rose thy carol clear.   Thou lurest now through fragrant shades,
Where hoary spruces grow;
Where floor of moss infolds the foot,
Like depths of fallen snow.   I follow fast, or pause alert,
To spy out thy retreat;
Or see thee perched on tree or shrub,
Where field and forest meet.   Thy voice is like a hermit's reed
That solitude beguiles;
Again 't is like a silver bell
Atune in forest aisles.   Throw off, throw off this masquerade
And don thy ruddy vest,
And let me find thee, as of old,
Beside thy orchard nest. - John Burroughs

John Burroughs