The Swallows by Dora Read Goodale

Dear birds that greet us with the spring,
That fly along the sunny blue,
That hover round your last year’s nests,
Or cut the shining heavens thro’,
That skim along the meadow grass,
Among the flowers sweet and fair,
That croon upon the pointed roof,
Or, quiv’ring, balance in the air;
Ye heralds of the summer days,
As quick ye dart across the lea,
Tho’ other birds be fairer, yet
The dearest of all birds are ye.

Dear as the messengers of spring
Before the buds have opened wide,
Dear when our other birds are here,
Dear in the burning summertide;
But when the lonely autumn wind
About the flying forest grieves,
In vain we look for you, and find—
Your empty nests beneath the eaves.