Oh, cheerful, little chickadee,
You sing your song so merrily
And flit about from tree to tree
A picture of glad joy.
When summer’s sun is shining bright
And winter’s snow is sparkling white,
You go about your merry flight;
Your melody employ.
Then storms arise and fill the skies
With clouds that loudly verbalise
A threat. You hardly realise
The change about your tree.
When autumn’s winds do strongly blow
In pelting rains or driving snow,
You scarcely even then let show
A lessening of glee.
But, oh, my little chickadee,
Though like you surely ought to be
The heart God made and gave to me,
I fear that ne’er will be.
For though my joy should always be
Like avian felicity,
I face far more difficulty
Than you will ever see.
For you have never faced a care
That looms up far too great to bear;
Sought joyful countenance to wear
When heart was full of grief.
The tears flow fast; the loss brings pain;
I know not how to smile again.
How can I now a song sustain?
Find for my soul relief?
Dear, singing, little joyful bird
Alas your song is scarcely heard
By sad heart sick with hope deferred.
How can I be like you?
Awaited joys soon fade away
And disappointment comes to stay.
The night is lonely – more, the day.
My eyes my bed bedew.
Bewilderment is nigh at hand –
I seek the place where I should stand
So conscience will not reprimand.
The good, the better? Best?
Then pressures mount and tempers rise.
The work mounds up; I realise
I cannot better organise
Myself, the toil arrest.
And so, my little chickadee,
It seems impossible, you see,
To go about so merrily
With bird-like, joyful song.
For greater far than rain or snow
Are troubles that to me do blow.
How can I sing when nought I know
To bring to end this wrong?
My heart is torn to leave behind
The things that now are intertwined
About my life, my heart, my mind
How can I let them go?
The times ahead seem so unsure
And what I know is more secure.
How can I joyfully endure
If God calls me to go?
Then I, my cheerful singing bird
Recall to mind what I have heard:
That God’s design is never stirred
From sovereign will and plan.
He will not let me drop or sink
Beneath the load. And at the brink
Of helplessness He makes me think
And aids my feet to stand.
No, life on earth will never be
Without desires unfilled, ennui,
Sad, anxious moments, tears, debris –
Transgressions in my past.
Though seasons change or friends move on,
Things stay behind and soon are gone
From recollection, yet the dawn
Will spring from night at last
Oh, cheerful little chickadee,
What lessons you have brought to me:
In God my heart finds harmony.
I can a song employ.
If sunny skies are all I see
Or clouds and storms about me be,
Whatever else surrounds “my tree,”
I’ll still let show my joy!