The Singers Yet to Be by Unknown


H, touch them not, the loving toil
Of wild birds fair; he surely wrongs
Both Heaven and earth who seeks to spoil
The promise of a thousand songs.

Think! in these fragile caskets lie
The unborn singers who will give
Day-long their sweetest harmony
From dawn until the quiet eve—

The choristers, whose morning praise
Is one glad psalm of hope and joy,
Long, long before their heads upraise
Each sleeping, dreamy girl and boy.

Grey larks, how often I have heard
You singing in the golden noon,
Until my heart within me stirred
To thank you for your music's boon.

Yet sweeter still than all the rest,
The last clear hymn at eventide,
When, dropping to each well-hid nest,
You gaze to where the sun has died.

Faced to the splendid purple West,
You pour full-throated forth a lay,
Giving to God and man your best,
As come the shadows soft and grey.

So touch it not, this present home
Of future singers: pass along—
They'll soon, from out the sky's great dome,
Repay your gentleness with song.