I’d settled on my porch today,
A book held languidly,
Watching the twilight approach,
Thoughts roaming aimlessly
When from nowhere a rustling came
A keening,painful sound,
And just ahead of where I sat
A bird fell to the ground.
I got up and I ran to her,
Poor wounded wee birdie,
As carefully I picked her up
Her eyelids closed gently.
I spoke to her in calming words,
And stroked her silky frill,
She blinked twice and trilled! Thank God!!
And then, then she was still.
I panicked and I hurried in,
Tried to revive her- no,
She would not drink, she would not stir,
Her life had ceased to flow..
I cradled her and yes, I wept,
Tho I didn’t quite know why,
Her passing had taken from me
Unwell met and too soon gone!
Acquaintance of merest sort..
Oh beautiful black winged songbird,
Why was your life cut short?
Nightingale! Yes Nightingale!
Ne’er will your voice be heard!
The melody of haunting feel
That many a mute soul stirred!
Nightingale! No, Nightingale
Of warbling and swelling strains!
Your tune echoes eternally
A lilting, thrilling refrain..
The traces of your song will be
Etched here, through and through,
And when I hear a passing note,
Know, I will think of you…
Sadly enough, this poem is completely autobiographical. I was sitting on the steps of our conservatory and reading City of Bones, when there was a rustling and a bundle of feathers landed a few feet away. For one singular moment, time stood still while I processed this.. and you know what happened next.
The worst part was his beauty.. This was no scraggly, bedraggled bird. He was just beautiful, with his inky colors and ruby eyes, I can only imagine what a sight he would have been to behold, perched on a branch and singing his timeless tune. It’s not the first time I watched an animal or bird let go, but his purity struck a chord not unlike his melody.
I never found out what killed him. He wasn’t bitten or electrocuted or even sickly. What he died of will remain a mystery. But I suppose.. it was time for him to leave, and he went on. . I’d like to think that that song, his song, will echo in my garden, just like his beauty. We buried him near the dogwood, where the birds sit and squabble in the summer mornings.
And when they’re all singing their lines, your voice will be missed too. I will not forget you, my nightingale.