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My Doves
by
Louisa May Alcott


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Opposite my chamber window,
On the sunny roof, at play,
High above the city's tumult,
Flocks of doves sit day by day.
Shining necks and snowy bosoms,
Little rosy, tripping feet,
Twinkling eyes and fluttering wings,
Cooing voices, low and sweet,

Graceful games and friendly meetings,
Do I daily watch and see.
For these happy little neighbors
Always seem at peace to be.
On my window-ledge, to lure them,
Crumbs of bread I often strew,
And, behind the curtain hiding,
Watch them flutter to and fro.

Soon they cease to fear the giver,
Quick are they to feel my love,
And my alms are freely taken
By the shyest little dove.
In soft flight, they circle downward,
Peep in through the window-pane;
Stretch their gleaming necks to greet me,
Peck and coo, and come again.

Faithful little friends and neighbors,
For no wintry wind or rain,
Household cares or airy pastimes,
Can my loving birds restrain.
Other friends forget, or linger,
But each day I surely know
That my doves will come and leave here
Little footprints in the snow.

So, they teach me the sweet lesson,
That the humblest may give
Help and hope, and in so doing,
Learn the truth by which we live;
For the heart that freely scatters
Simple charities and loves,
Lures home content, and joy, and peace,
Like a soft-winged flock of doves.


This poem is in the public domain.


Louisa May Alcott was one of four daughters born to Bronson and May Alcott. Poverty was their constant companion; Mr. Alcott spent most of his life teaching and philosophizing and Louisa worked from an early age to help with expenses. She worked as a governess, a seamstress, a laundress, and a nurse but, at heart, she was always a writer. Her work ranged from gentle children's stories to torrid romances; her first book, published at the age of 23, was a collection of stories for Ralph Waldo Emerson's daughter, who was a friend and neighbor. (Other neighbors in Concord, Massachusetts, included Henry David Thoreau and Nathaniel Hawthorne.) Louisa's best known work is Little Women, which has never been out of print since it was first published in 1868; it has been translated into more than fifty languages.

            

 

 


Post New Comment:
Anastasia:
What a delight! I adore watching the mourning doves in our neighborhood. Thank you, Jayne!
Posted 08/20/2023 04:25 PM
Jancan:
Lovely, delightful~~my kind of poem. Great choice for the day. Janice
Posted 08/20/2023 04:17 PM
Rumons:
Here's another of her bird poems, written when she was a child" "O why these tears and idle fears Of what may come tomorrow? The birds find food from God so good And the flowers know no sorrow." I read a biography of her when I was a child and still remember this poem I found in it!
Posted 08/20/2023 02:28 PM
Carebear10:
Enjoyed this a lot! Didnt know Louisa wrote poetry too
Posted 08/20/2023 12:20 PM
Larry Schug:
I like the way the poem "grows" from verse to verse. A friendship and understanding between species expands with each new day. I also like them being called neighbors and finally a lesson on how we should treat everyone.
Posted 08/20/2023 08:25 AM
Darrell Arnold:
A light, airy, simple, beautiful poem of peace and beauty ends with a Big Bang of a serious message. Those last four lines are a gentle "slap upside the head" to be giving and charitable, and you will be rewarded with contentment, joy, and peace. Great poem.
Posted 08/20/2023 08:25 AM


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