The Vagabonds

What saw you in your flight to-day,
Crows awinging your homeward way?

Went you far in carrion quest,
Crows that worry the sunless west?

Thieves and villains, you shameless things
Black your record as black your wings.

Tell me, birds of the inky hue,
Plunderous rogues—to-day have you

Seen with mischievous, prying eyes
Lands where earlier suns arise?  

Saw you a lazy beck between
Trees that shadow its breast in green,    

Teased by obstinate stones that lie 
Crossing the current tauntingly?

Fields abloom on the farther side       
With purpling clover lying wide—

Saw you there as you circled by,
Vale-environed a cottage lie,

Girt about with emerald bands, 
Nestling down in its meadow lands?

Saw you this on your thieving raids?
Speak—you rascally renegades!

Thieved you also away from me
Olden scenes that I long to see?

If, O! crows, you have flown since morn
Over the place where I was born,           

Forget will I, how black you were     
Since dawn, in feather and character;   

Absolve will I, your vagrant band,         
Ere you enter your slumberland.

From Flint and Feather: The Complete Poems of E. Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake) (The Musson Book Co., Limited, 1917) by Emily Pauline Johnson. This poem is in the public domain.