The Yellow Robin [poem by C. J. Dennis]

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

The Yellow Robin

I’m the friendliest of them all,
When winter comes;
Daily at your door I call
Begging crumbs.
Clinging sideways to a stake,
Eloquent appeal I make.
“Spare a scrap for pity’s sake!
This cold air numbs.”

I will follow as you dig
And search the dirt.
Worms or beetles, small or big,
Are my dessert;
And, should you seem gently kind,
From your hand I do not mind
Taking anything you find;
But I’m a flirt.

For when spring comes to the land
You are forgot.
I have great affairs on hand
As days wax hot.
Should I pass you, I pretend
To ignore my winter’s friend;
Intimacy’s at an end;
I know you not.

Yet, when winter comes once more,
And summer ends,
You will find me at your door
To make amends;
Clinging sideways to a stake,
Eloquent appeal I’ll make:
“Spare a scrap for pity’s sake!
Aw, let’s be friends!”

C. J. Dennis, The Singing Garden, Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1935, pages 173-174

Editor’s notes:
wax = grow or increase gradually in intensity, number, size, strength, or volume (e.g. “the moonlight waxed and waned”); or to take on a particular characteristic or state (e.g. “to wax poetic”; often used in the context of someone speaking at length)

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