A Song on a Bare Bough
by Grace Noll Crowell
I saw a valiant cardinal
Dark-red against the winter dawn,
He whistled from a leafless tree
Upon a barren lawn,
The tiny dauntless splotch of red
Shot up a challenge straight and high:
A rocket-burst of silver stars
To shower a winter sky.
The little brave intrepid thing--
A conqueror of cold and night--
He drenched the bare boughs suddenly
With color and with light--
A triumph and a victory
That I have come to understand.
I laughed--a broken laugh--and took
Life once more by the hand.