The Brown Thrush

by Lucy Larcom

There’s a merry brown thrush sitting up in a tree—­
He’s singing to me! he’s singing to me!
And what does he say, little girl, little boy?
“Oh, the world’s running over with joy!
Don’t you hear? Don’t you see?
Hush! Look! In my tree
I’m as happy as happy can be!”

And the brown thrush keeps singing—­“A nest do you see,
And five eggs, hid by me in the juniper-tree?
Don’t meddle! don’t touch! little girl, little boy,
Or the world will lose some of its joy.
Now I’m glad! Now I’m free!
And I always shall be,
If you never bring sorrow to me.”

So the merry brown thrush sings away in the tree,
To you and to me, to you and to me;
And he sings all the day, little girl, little boy—­
“Oh, the world’s running over with joy;
But long it won’t be,
Don’t you know, don’t you see,
Unless we’re as good as can be?”



J. J. Audubon
Brown Thrush


Brown Thrush, The


Larcom, Lucy

Age Appropriate:





Being good brings happiness



Things to Discuss:

Who is supposed to be speaking in the first two lines? Who asks the question in the third line? Who answers the question? Find the answer to the question in the first stanza. Why is the little bird so happy? What will make him unhappy? How can you help to make the world “run over with joy”?