Poetry – The Lady Pheasant

Whom meet we, Betsey, in the wood?
The Lady Pheasant and her Brood;
So stand we still, to let them pass
On oak-leaves through the tasselled grass.

Down dappled aisles of hazel shade
They disappear along the glade,
My Lady in her rusty gown,
Ten children clad in useful brown.

But one fledged laggard stops to eat
The plantain seeds at Betsey’s feet,
Who plucks my fingers: “Mother, come
We’ll pick him up and take him home!”

The nestling joins the hidden nine
Deep in the copse; and I lift mine
And bear her home along the lane,—
“I want him!” still pouts Betsey-Jane.

— Helen Parry Eden