By Charlotte Richardson 1775–1825 Charlotte Richardson
Cold blew the freezing northern blast,
And winter sternly frowned;
The flaky snow fell thick and fast,
And clad the fields around.
Forced by the storm’s relentless power,
Emboldened by despair,
A shivering redbreast sought my door,
Some friendly warmth to share.
‘Welcome, sweet bird!’ I fondly cried,
‘No danger need’st thou fear,
Secure with me thou may’st abide,
Till warmer suns appear.
‘And when mild spring comes smiling on,
And bids the fields look gay,
Thou, with thy sweet, thy grateful song,
My kindness shalt repay.’
Mistaken thought! — But how shall I
The mournful truth display?
An envious cat, with jealous eye,
Had marked him as her prey.
Remorseless wretch! — her cruel jaws
Soon sealed her victim’s doom,
While I in silence mourn his loss,
And weep o’er robin’s tomb.
So, oft in life’s uneven way,
Some stroke may intervene;
Sweep all our fancied joys away,
And change the flattering scene.