Robin Redbreast

By Daniel Collins

1st Place, Poetry, Create | Encounter 2020


Daughter of Spring and life-bright gaiety,

Unwearied psalmist of the temple green,

Who fashions for thy tree-born deity

Sweet hymns to speed upon the wind unseen,

The blood that stains thy breast is fair and clean,

A mark of life too rich to be contained,

But ever flowing from thy home between

The Earth and Sky, in a singing unrestrained

By any of those weighty woes that leave my music chained.


Daughter of Winter, of black nights, and the cold,

The howling wind descends with hungry snows

To smite thy young and waste away the old,

And thou art left alone to bear these blows.

What song of Spring can rival the cruel prose,

The cold reason, that frozen nights propound?

“Death comes with dark, as every mortal knows,

No life-bright hymn will leave the cold uncrowned,

And better far to dash thine eggs upon the ground.”


Daughter of day, and of the darkness too,

Hearken not to Winter’s whispered doom,

The death it augers never shall be true.

It drives thee all alone to meet thy tomb,

But bound by love, we’ll face this mortal gloom

Together. I’ll scatter seed the Winter long,

And thou shalt be my guest, until the bloom

Of Spring-Sun finds us ready, gay, and strong

Enough to fill this wood with blessing by our song.



Artist Statement:

This pastiche of 19th Century Romantic odes places solidarity at the heart of the pro-life movement. The original and spiritual joy of life in the first stanza, and the material struggle and the harshness of death in the second are plain facts we cannot escape. The final stanza contends that purpose of the pro-life movement is not to eradicate all death, but to ensure the dignity of life is enshrined. And that we accomplish through solidarity. It is through the material aid of “scattering seed” that we allow room for the spiritual song of peace and dignity.

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