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DELLE W. NORTON
American poet
(1840 - )

On fair Britannia's isle, bright bird,
  A legend strange is told of thee,--
    'Tis said thy blithesome song was hushed
      While Christ toiled up Mount Calvary,
        Bowed 'neath the sins of all mankind;
          And humbled to the very dust
            By the vile cross, while viler men
              Mocked with a crown of thorns the Just.
                Pierced by our sorrows, and weighed down
                  By our transgressions,--faint and weak,
                    Crushed by an angry Judge's frown,
                      And agonies no word can speak,--
                        'Twas then, dear bird, the legend says
                          That thou, from out His crown, didst tear
                            The thorns, to lighten the distress
                              And ease the pain that he must bear,
                                While pendant from thy tiny beak
                                  The gory points thy bosom pressed,
                                    And crimsoned with thy Saviour's blood
                                      The sober brownness of thy breast!
                                        Since which proud hour for thee and thine.
                                          As an especial sign of grace
                                            God pours like sacramental wine
                                              Red signs of favor o'er thy race!
      - To the Robin Redbreast [Robins]


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