Massachusetts state bird
Most she won me by the way
She presented her small figure —
Plea itself — for Charity —
Were a Crumb my whole possession —
Were there famine in the land —
Were it my resource from starving —
Could I such a plea withstand —
Not upon her knee to thank me
Sank this Beggar from the Sky —
But the Crumb partook — departed —
And returned On High —
I supposed — when sudden
Such a Praise began
'Twas as Space sat singing
To herself — and men —
'Twas the Winged Beggar —
Afterward I learned
To her Benefactor
F483 (1862) J760
If Dickinson wrote a bird poem that was not sweet, I don't know of it. In this one the poet has granted a little feathered "Beggar" a small crumb. I picture a little house wren or chickadee hopping up boldly – as I have no doubt that Dickinson regularly scattered crumbs for the birds that frequented her garden. This particular bird "presented her small figure" as if pleading for a crumb. After she received it she seemingly flew away. That would have been the end of the story except that the poet was then surprised by a flow of song so delightful and unearthly that it sounded to her as if Space was singing to herself.
She later learns that it was the bird singing to her in gratitude. Awwwwww.
Dickinson adds a bit of interest to this poem by hiding the identity of the beggar until the middle of the poem. Until then the reader may well be picturing a woman, hungry and poor, begging for a bit of charity. The first half is written in iambic tetrameter and features quite a bit of repetition for rhetorical effect. The second half, birdlike, is shorter and quicker: iambic trimeter with lots of run-on lines (enjambment) to keep it moving.
The poem is consistent with earlier Dickinson works about the church of nature where the little birds are choristers. In this one, she herself plays the Goddess.