A Cardinal in the Garden

...Then came green meadows, broad and bright,
  Where dandelions, with wealth untold,
Gleamed on the young and eager sight
Like stars of gold;

And on the very meadow's edge,
Beneath the ragged blackberry hedge,
Mid mosses golden, gray and green,

The fresh young buttercups were seen,
And small spring-beauties, sent to be
The heralds of anemone:

All just as when I earliest heard
    The cardinal bird.

Upon the gray old forest's rim
  I snuffed the crab-tree's sweet perfume;
And farther, where the light was dim,

I saw the bloom 
Of May-apples, beneath the tent
Of umbrel leaves above them bent;
Where oft was shifting light and shade
The blue-eyed ivy wildly strayed;


And Solomon's-seal, in graceful play,
Swung where the straggling sunlight lay:
The same as when I earliest heard
    The cardinal bird.

--William Davis Gallagher