Wond’rous bird, she dwelt in a land
With such glory as beauty assured.
Her wild song rang a golden strand;
Her throat band bright as swords;
To her grey tail did eyes return,
To a breast as rich as summer corn.
Two great birds fought for her love;
Chatter’d and clash’d like summer gale,
Till whole of flock they fought above;
Claw and feather like knives in mail:
So one beak found the road severe,
So one great heart did know its spear.
Heart-sent blood shone on the snow,
Horror sent the winged beauty away.
She sought a perch where she in woe
Suffered through her heart’s decay;
And in molt her feathers fell,
And in grief she long would dwell.
Brave victor, he had lost his love
And sought a quiet place alone,
Bearing wounds he died thereof;
And she who far from him had flown
Whiten'd in molt till feathers new
Were pure and shining as the dew.
Far and high men saw her glow
Alit on tree at mountain peak,
Feathers colored as grey old snow,
Ashen from tail to start of beak;
Beauteous sorrow became her fame,
But from that hour, she never sang.