“To a City Pigeon” by Nathaniel Parker Willis

by theliterarymaiden

I question the sincerity of this poem.

To a City Pigeon
Nathaniel Parker Willis
From the New-York Mirror, October 22, 1831

Stoop to my window, thou beautiful dove!
Thy daily visits have touch’d my love.
I watch thy coming, and list the note
That stirs so low in thy mellow throat,
And my joy is high
To catch the glance of thy gentle eye.

Why dost thou sit on the heated caves,
And forsake the wood with its freshen’d leaves?
Why dost thou haunt the sultry street,
When the paths of the forest are cool and sweet?
How canst thou bear
This noise of people—this sultry air?

Thou alone of the feather’d race
Dost look unscared on the human face;
Thou alone, with a wing to thee,
Dost love with man in his haunts to be;
And the “gentle dove”
Has become a name for trust and love.

It is no light chance. Thou art kept apart,
Wisely by Him who has tamed thy heart,
To stir the love for the bright and fair
That else were seal’d in the crowded air;
I sometimes dream
Angelic rays from thy pinions stream.

Come then, ever, when daylight leaves
The page I read, to my humble caves,
And wash thy breast in the hollow spout,
And murmur thy low sweet music out,
I hear and see
Lessons of heaven, sweet bird, in thee!