Tit willow

On a tree by a river a little tom-tit
Sang “Willow, titwillow, titwillow”
And I said to him, “Dicky-bird, why do you sit
Singing ‘Willow, titwillow, titwillow'”
“Is it weakness of intellect, birdie?” I cried
“Or a rather tough worm in your little inside”
With a shake of his poor little head, he replied
“Oh, willow, titwillow, titwillow!”

He slapped at his chest, as he sat on that bough
Singing “Willow, titwillow, titwillow”
And a cold perspiration bespangled his brow
Oh, willow, titwillow, titwillow
He sobbed and he sighed, and a gurgle he gave
Then he plunged himself into the billowy wave
And an echo arose from the suicide’s grave
“Oh, willow, titwillow, titwillow”

Now I feel just as sure as I’m sure that my name
Isn’t Willow, titwillow, titwillow
That ’twas blighted affection that made him exclaim
“Oh, willow, titwillow, titwillow”
And if you remain callous and obdurate, I
Shall perish as he did, and you will know why
Though I probably shall not exclaim as I die
“Oh, willow, titwillow, titwillow”

The Wren – John Clare

Why is the cuckoo’s melody preferred

And rich nightingale’s rich song so fondly praised

In poet’s rhymes? Is there no other bird

Of nature’s minstrelsy that oft hath raised

One’s heart to ecstasy and mirth as well?

I judge not how another’s taste is caught – 

With mine there’s other birds that bear the bell,

Whose song hath crowds of happy memories brought,

Such the wood robin singing in the dell

And little wren that many a time hath sought

Shelter from showers in huts where I did dwell

In early spring, the tenant of the plain

Tenting my sheep, and still they come to tell

The happy stories of the past again.