Meandering and whistling, down the lane
And in the sun, among the trees, full bright,
With jaunty tunes in handsome throats, alight
With cheer and drunk with Spring in their domain,
They come to dance and sing out of the night.
The gentlemen parade their costumes fair
And catch the ladies’ eyes with well­-coiffed hair;
In turn, the ladies tease them with their flight.
If one does chance to see this gay affair,
The feminine apparel may surprise ­
For though their songs be brilliant at sunrise,
Somber and dusky are the clothes they wear.
Thus do the Cardinals and Swallows all,
Take to themselves dark wives before the Fall.