The Pink-breasted Robin [poem by C. J. Dennis]

[Editor: This poem by C. J. Dennis was published in The Singing Garden (1935).]

The Pink-breasted Robin

A fairy out of fairyland, I flit
On visits rare
Into your garden and your heart, to sit
And charm you there.
Tiny and trusting for one winter day;
And then away.

You count me not amid your singing friends
Of bush and bough;
But every little while I make amends.
Behold me now,
Claiming attention with quaint little clicks,
Like snapping sticks.

Your ear I may not charm with tuneful note,
Yet do my best
To charm your eye. Behold my ebon coat,
My rich, rose breast!
Straight out of elfland surely. Elfin too
All things I do.

They say my coming brings good luck to men.
On fragile wings
I am no sooner here than gone again,
Like all good things —
Gone with my trustful air, my curious clicks
Like snapping sticks.

None but the birds’ elect may know me well.
And understand
I come to bring you an enchanter’s spell
From some charmed land,
From some green Arcady that men have known
In dreams alone.

A fairy out of fairyland, I flit
For one brief day,
Like all good fortune, here a while to sit,
And then away,
Leaving but memories of elfin tricks
And broken sticks.



Source:
C. J. Dennis, The Singing Garden, Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1935, pages 175-176

Editor’s notes:
Arcady = paradise; utopia; a serene place of simple pleasure (derived from Arcadia, an ancient region of Greece)

ebon = dark brown or black; ebony

elfin = elf-like; physically small, charming, and delicate, with a merry or mischievous countenance (may also refer to an elf; or, of or relating to elves)

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