Sounding Childhood

The Little Maiden and the Little Bird

"The Little Maiden and the Little Bird" is a poem by Lydia Maria Child, American 19th C author of such novels such as Hobomok (1824) and editor of the Children's Miscellany from 1826-34.  She was an abolitionist and crusader for women's rights, Native American rights, and animal rights.  The latter is seen in this poem which is a dialogue between a little girl who tempts the bird with "come to me! I have a green cage all ready for thee!" (v.1) and the bird who replies, "Nay, little damsel, away I'll fly/ To greener fields and warmer sky."  It is found in Eddy's Songs of Happy Life which supplied songs for the Bands of Mercy animal-welfare children's organization of the late 19th century in America and England.  Our choir divided into two groups to sing the girl's verses (vv. 1, end of 2, and 4) and the bird's replies (vv. 2, 3, & 5).

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