I lost a little feather in a gust—
A downy thing, of white and brilliant red,
Swept out from where it nestled, in a spot
I’d fancied sheltered from the breeze’s thrust.
In a sudden updraft, off it sped,
And in a second’s passing, it was not,
Even as it had been many weeks,
The diadem in my trove of avian jewels,
The poppet of the plain-and-spangled lot!
Now all at once, the rest seemed dull and bleak
And I perceived myself some kind of fool
To grieve a grace that came to me unsought.
Curious, the scheme of such a world,
To swipe a joy as lightly as it comes—
And yet a feather’s but a trifling loss
Beside snatched things too weighty to have swirled
Aloft, too big to compass with the thumbs!