Poetry Sunday: A March Glee by John Burroughs

February is quickly winding down; March is almost upon us. March - a month of transitions. Winter is nearly over. (In fact, here in Southeast Texas, it was hardly ever here.)  Things are getting greener and flower buds are forming. The daffodils are already in bloom. 

And in the skies above, the birds are moving, winging for their summer homes. In a matter of weeks, they will have built their nests, laid their eggs, and a new generation will have been born. "Oh, spring is surely coming. Her couriers fill the air."

A March Glee

by John Burroughs

I hear the wild geese honking
From out the misty night,—
A sound of moving armies
On-sweeping in their might;
The river ice is drifting
Beneath their northward flight.

I hear the bluebird plaintive
From out the morning sky,
Or see his wings a-twinkle
That with the azure vie;
No other bird more welcome,
No more prophetic cry.

I hear the sparrow's ditty
Anear my study door;
A simple song of gladness
That winter days are o'er
My heart is singing with him,
I love him more and more.

I hear the starling fluting
His liquid "O-ka-lee;"
I hear the downy drumming,
His vernal reveillé;
From out the maple orchard
The nuthatch calls to me.

Oh, spring is surely coming.
Her couriers fill the air;
Each morn are new arrivals,
Each night her ways prepare;
I scent her fragrant garments,
Her foot is on the stair.


  1. Her couriers indeed. It won't be long before I see the first migrant, but in the meantime the male Northern Cardinals are singing lustily, and that signals spring to me. The weather? Now that's something else entirely!

    1. Thank Nature for the cardinals. They cheer our grayest day all year round.

  2. Our Southern Tier New York State cardinals are singing, too. And do I see the faintest signs of male goldfinches starting to molt into their beautiful yellow from their winter grey/greenish? The sun is getting stronger. The shadows on my lawn are moving into spring position. But I'm not poetic enough to put it into soaring words.

    1. Spring is not completely sprung here yet but it is well on its way! The birds confirm it.

  3. We still have snow on the ground ...and more snow on the way this week. I won't start looking for spring weather for a few more weeks. But it's okay; we really need the snowpack so we can hopefully refill our drought-stricken reservoirs. I love the poem...only the starlings I hear calling out don't sound nearly that pretty. ;D

    1. Snow does have its uses. Let's hope that it does begin to help with the drought situation.


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