A feather fell low from a winging bird;
It fell till it dropped at my feet.
But a song held my heart imprisoned fast
Mid the din of a city street.
And I dared to think if the song were free
Would it sound but half so sweet.
I heard a song rise in an open field;
As it rose from the clean damp earth;
It was pure, it was sweet – untouched by man
As the heart that gave it birth.
A song that was full of the love of life;
A song that was full of mirth.
I tuned that song, and the feather that dropped
With a voice in a city slum,
Where a heart cried out for life to live
Far away from the dirt and scum.
I found that the voice with heart-aches and tears
All the sweeter had become.
– Circa 1931