This little illustration was labelled “Proud Songster” and while not specifically mentioned in the poem of the same name by Thomas Hardy, John obviously felt that this Chiffchaff was doing its bit to fill our days with birdsong.
One of the pleasures of this spring has been to listen to the vibrant songbirds in the gardens and parks, from the dawn chorus to the evening songs commemorated in the poem here.
Proud Songsters by Thomas Hardy
The thrushes sing as the sun is going,
And the finches whistle in ones and pairs,
And as it gets dark loud nightingales
Pipe, as they can when April wears,
As if all Time were theirs.
These are brand-new birds of twelve-months’ growing,
Which a year ago, or less than twain,
No finches were, nor nightingales,
But only particles of grain,
And earth, and air, and rain.