A Feather


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!



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