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A Child's Own Book of Verse, Book Three by  Ada M. Skinner and Frances Gillespy Wickes

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[Illustration]

ROBERT OF LINCOLN

Merrily swinging on brier and weed,

Near to the nest of his little dame,

Over the mountain-side or mead,

Robert of Lincoln is telling his name:

"Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,

Spink, spank, spink;

Snug and safe is that nest of ours,

Hidden among the summer flowers,

Chee, chee, chee!"


[11]

Robert of Lincoln is gayly drest,

Wearing a bright black wedding coat;

White are his shoulders and white his crest.

Hear him call in his merry note:

"Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,

Spink, spank, spink;

Look, what a nice new coat is mine,

Sure there was never a bird so fine.

Chee, chee, chee!"


Robert of Lincoln's Quaker wife,

Pretty and quiet, with plain brown wings,

Passing at home a patient life,

Broods in the grass while her husband sings:

"Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,

Spink, spank, spink;

Brood, kind creature; you need not fear

Thieves and robbers while I am here.

Chee, chee, chee!"


Modest and shy as a nun is she;

One weak chirp is her only note,

Braggart and prince of braggart is he,

Pouring boasts from his little throat:

"Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,

Spink, spank, spink;

Never was I afraid of man;

Catch me, cowardly knaves, if you can!

Chee, chee, chee!"


[12]

Six white eggs on a bed of hay,

Flecked with purple, a pretty sight!

There, as the mother sits all day,

Robert is singing with all his might

"Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,

Spink, spank, spink;

Nice good wife that never goes out,

Keeping house while I frolic about.

Chee, chee, chee!"


Soon as the little ones chip the shell,

Six wide mouths are open for food;

Robert of Lincoln bestirs him well,

Gathering seeds for the hungry brood.

"Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,

Spink, spank, spink;

Nobody knows but my mate and I

Where our nest and our nestlings lie.

Chee, chee, chee!"


Summer wanes; the children are grown;

Fun and frolic no more he knows;

Robert of Lincoln's a humdrum crone;

Off he flies, and we sing as he goes:

"Bob-o'-link, bob-o'-link,

Spink, spank, spink;

When you can pipe that merry old strain,

Robert of Lincoln, come back again.

Chee, chee, chee!"

—WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.


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