Poetry Sunday: A March Glee by John Burroughs

The birds are definitely sensing the coming of spring. I see them busily searching out nesting sites and nesting materials. I hear them staking out their territories with song. The bluebirds are checking out the nesting box and I hope it will soon be occupied. Yes, 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. You had me with the first line - one of my favourite sounds in all of nature.

    1. I can't think of any sound that is more evocative of a particular season.

  2. I've been seeing more birds too but we woke up to light snow on the ground this morning, so spring is not near as yet! Can't wait.

  3. My husband has heard the geese at night. By day we go to the local park and the red winged blackbirds are trilling. The downy drums, the tufted titmouse calls to us and the robins have finally shown up. Yes, spring, even if the thermometer barely reads 40.

    1. During migration seasons, if I happen to be outside after dark, I often hear the geese passing overhead. They prefer to fly at night.

  4. Birds are definitely heralders of spring! Great poem choice for this week. :D

    1. It definitely catches the flavor of the season, doesn't it?

  5. I'm doing a birding field trip each week in March with a birding expert, and, happily, we saw a Blue Jay on her nest and then a White-tailed Kite on her nest yesterday in Galveston.

    1. Oooh, I do envy you that experience! I hope you'll blog more about it.


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